This sparked a heated discussion from others who did not agree with her political opinions. Shocking, isn’t it?
As an observer, it was intriguing to read their comments as each of these people debated and argued about what they believed to be true to them.
I seriously think that some people got unfriended from this conversation because they disagreed with each other’s truths. Okay, to be honest, I unfriended a few folks after reading this spicy debate too, but I digress…
It is amazing how personal truths or beliefs can divide people. This morning during my meditation practice, this topic came up again and it lead me to think:
What is true to us might be false to someone else. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Who knows?
What is the Truth?
This whole idea about truth, what does it mean? If one person thinks one way and another person thinks something else, who is right? It is my humble opinion that we are not exact clones and therefore we don’t have to agree on everything, especially during this political climate. And that’s okay.
It is when the ego gets hell bent on being right is when things go bananas. And conflict arises.
Here is another story about truths and the ego’s need to be right. A friend of mine was at a grocery store when she saw a frustrated mother spank her small child several times. My dear friend, who is also a loving mother, was triggered with anger after witnessing this and approached the mother and child.
With good intentions, my friend started scolding the mother and of course the mother got even madder and frustrated. Again, their truths didn’t match up and there was conflict.
When Our Truth Creates Conflict
When my friend told me the story, she asked what I thought and I said, “I know you meant well and I am curious if you considered that maybe your words might have made this mother even angrier and that she might take this added stress out on her child later?”
This was something my friend hadn’t considered. In her heart, she was defending this innocent child.
My friend looked at me frustrated and disheartened and said, “Well, what was a I supposed to do?” I said, “Maybe you could have shown her some compassion and asked her if she needed any help. Perhaps she was having a bad day or bad life and just needed some love.”
This answer did not go over well with my friend. So we agreed to disagree and that’s okay too. We still love each other.
Of course, I wasn’t defending the mother’s actions. I wasn’t there so I couldn’t judge. My point was sometimes when we strongly believe in something, it blinds us from seeing situations from another perspective. And this can create conflict or division.
Seeing Things from Another Perspective
Lao Tzu, quoted in the Tao Te Ching:
When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good, other things become bad.
Like a snowflake, no two people are alike and yet, we are similar in so many ways. After all, a snowflake is still a snowflake even though it is different. And people are still people. Even though they think different.
If God had intended all of us to think the same, we’d be doing just that. It’s called freewill and we are all gifted to live it. Everyone is entitled to have their own truths and beliefs. So whether it’s about a political election or parenting, consider leading with the heart and not the ego.
I’d like to leave you with this poem by Valerie Cox, called The Cookie Thief:
A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other, she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.