Truth, Questions, and Breaking

I like speculative fiction. It allows a context in which you can ask some interesting questions. You can look at a “truth”, and see how quickly it crumbles and falls. Consider the following.

Zombie¬†apocalypse. You’re holed up in a cave. You have enough food for you and five other people to last through the winter. The only problem? There are twenty of you. What do you do? A “truth” would dictate that you respect all life. But these are desperate times.

Do you kill off all but five? Do you feed everybody and then all die? When you have a new context, truths that we would normally consider to be self-evident suddenly become anything but.

I ran the Snow Canyon half marathon and blogged about it here. In it I mentioned that Snow Canyon had beautiful scenery, but all I saw were the double yellow lines of the road. My mother asked me to write up an essay about the following truth:

TRUTH
Sometimes we get so caught up in the little things,
we miss the beautiful things around us.

This got me thinking about a second truth. One that applies to the same situation:

TRUTH
If you want to achieve your goal,
You can’t be distracted by shiny objects.

If I want to finish the race with a good time, I need to focus on the goal. I can come back to Snow Canyon at a later date. But also, it’s a shame to run through the beautiful Snow Canyon and only stare at the road.

One situation. Two truths. They seem to be at odds.

Let me give you one more example.

Consider the example of the oak and the reed. A harsh wind blows and blows. A mighty oak, which is rigid and strong, is blown over. The reed, on the other hand, bends with the wind and survives.

TRUTH
Sometimes it’s good to be flexible.

An example of this truth. My manuscript was complete at 80,000 words. My agent said I had to cut it down to less than 60,000. It was extremely painful to do. I cut a lot of great scenes. But in the end, by being flexible, we sold the book.

But what about this? Imagine you lived in a Small Town USA a few decades ago. A black family is moving into an all white neighborhood, and a petition is going around to keep that from happening. You don’t believe in the petition, but it’s much easier to be flexible. Otherwise, the neighbors may turn on you.

TRUTH
Sometimes being flexible is not an option.

TRUTH
Some truths are worth breaking over.

It’s important for people to stand up for what is truth. Unfortunately, we don’t have a manual of truths. We must each find our own truth, and then act accordingly.

Want to see somebody who has found a truth? Find a protester with a sign. Right or wrong (in your opinion), they’ve discovered a truth and are sharing it with others. They are standing strong for something they believe in.

One last thing. Standing firm doesn’t always appear noble to the world. Sometimes you might not know if the truth for which you stand is worth it. Sometimes when you’re broken, you feel like it’s exactly what you deserve. You just might question to your final breath whether or not you made the right choice.

I believe, that in the end, it’s all about truth. Search for truth. Find truth. And then act on it. Right or wrong, it’s the best we can do.

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8 Responses to Truth, Questions, and Breaking

  1. Julie Wright says:

    Truth: Marion is a wise man

  2. Heidi says:

    I so love your posts.

  3. Heidi says:

    The above post totally sounded like bot spam, so I need to clarify that I’m not a bot or one of those wannabe “networkers” who posts meaningless stuff on other people’s blogs in order to get reciprocal traffic or whatever. I just didn’t have anything else to say.

    Seriously, I do love your posts. Part of my wishes you’d blog more often because your posts are so refreshing and insightful, but another part of me realizes that maybe if you were trying to churn out three posts a week then a) you might not have as much time to write and b) might not be able to write such good posts. So, I guess I’ll be content with what I get.

  4. Carole says:

    Stand firm.

  5. Josi says:

    Per your comment about the petition and the protester, truth can be a painful thing to commit to. Often we choose flexibility in order to avoid discomfort–which can be excruciating–until the pain of flexibility overcomes that caused by dedication to truth. We often hear the inspiring stories about being dedicated to truth, how in time the person was praised or found greater joy in their ‘truth’ than in whatever comforts they exchanged for it. However, there are many sad stories of people who embraced their ‘truth’ to the loss of all other good and never received the ‘pay off’. I wonder, sometimes, how much truth leads to misery, either through being committed to it or not embracing it. I look forward to a future existence where we better understand our ‘truth’ and the role it plays in our lives, both earthly and otherwise. I do, however, wish you the very best in your journey to truth, may you find the joy and security of embracing whatever is in your soul.

  6. Jared Wendel says:

    It was good to see you at the LTUE conference, can’t wait til your book comes out (even though I’m going to HAVE to wait, since it’s like a year away)

  7. Tyrean says:

    Truth is worth finding . . . great post!

  8. Great post. Often in the most difficult of times, when we encounter the dark truth of our own weakness, we come face-to-face with a larger truth worth breaking for. That moment makes all the difference in the world. At least that’s how it was for me. With people, I believe that oaks can acquire the reed’s flexibility. Transformation is possible. Kind of like emotional/spiritual gene splicing.

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