Question #1 – Is what I know to be true REALLY true?

In my last post I said I would go into each of the questions more in future posts, so let’s look a little at that first question.  Is what I know to be true REALLY true?  There are some really good reasons that you might want to ask this question, but I think the number one reason is to find out if you are basing your actions/reactions on reality or not.   Every day we make quick decisions based on what we think is true.  But once in a while we should stop and challenge our assumptions.  Sometimes things change and the change goes by so fast we don’t even catch it.

For instance, something as simple as what brand of detergent to buy may seem easy – you always buy Brand X because it doesn’t have any scents, or it cleans the best, or whatever reason you choose.  But if you don’t question your assumptions once in a while, you may buy it one day and find that it has been changed – they now put a scent in it, or you notice your whites aren’t as white, or something is different and you missed it because you didn’t look.

Do you sometimes make a decision based on how you KNOW someone else thinks about something?  Maybe you don’t invite someone to a concert with you because you KNOW she doesn’t like classical music (or whatever you’re hearing that day) only to find out later she loves classical music and you don’t know because you never asked.  Maybe you know she loves Bob Marley, and assumed that she couldn’t possible like Marley AND classical music.

What about politics?  Do you know what you know based solely on ads?  If you really care, then don’t let yourself get sucked in to what the ads say.  No matter what side you are on, I can pretty much guarantee that the ads aren’t going to give you all the info you really need to make an educated decision.  Even if an ad tells the truth, it probably won’t give you the whole truth.  If you know what you know just because you heard it in an ad (for anything actually, not just politics) then maybe you should look a little deeper and base your decisions on reality, and not just ads.

You can end up miles from where you want to be if you don’t ask yourself if what you know is really true – sometimes literally.  A friend of mine told me she once drove a long way out of her way because she KNEW the name of the street she was to turn on, and she refused to even consider looking at a map or asking someone, because she KNEW she was right.  Well, it turned out that what she knew wasn’t exactly true.  Had she just checked in with herself to see if what she knew was really true, she might have actually made it to her event on time.

There is one more companion question to this that you might find useful, and that is ‘Even if this is true for me, is it possible that it is not true for everyone?’  There are people who see the world in black and white, and feel that something is either true or false, with no grey areas in-between.  I am not one of them.  Being in the middle of an orchestra playing Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony might truly be the best feeling in the world to me, but it probably isn’t to you.  That doesn’t make me right and you wrong, or vice versa, it just makes us different.  There are a lot of things in this world that are true to me that I would not want to necessarily base a decision for more than me on.  So by all means base a decision for you on what is true for you alone.  But if you have a decision to make that affects more than just you, be sure to consider what is true for others as well. And if you don’t know what is true for someone else – ask them!

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