I don’t need to know the whole truth in order to act on some truth.
The notion that I can’t do anything until I know everything is a myth. I don’t need to know how the whole journey will play out in order to take the first step.
Many of us become paralyzed against acting on our truths because we’re afraid that someone will accuse us of not having it all thought out. We might get accused of not knowing as much as we should. So what? It is not for someone else to say how much I “should” know.
If I believe something, really believe it, no matter how small; and if acting on it will not harm myself or others, why not do it?
As if carrying a lantern through the dark, if I take just one step at a time more will be revealed. The light moves with me.
And I don’t need for everyone to believe my truth in order for me to act on my truth.
This is another myth that paralyzes us from acting on our truths. It goes like this: Because not every person thinks like I do, I am afraid to act on what I think. Since we don’t all agree, I can’t move forward. For instance, I can’t speak out or act out my concerns on climate change because many people don’t believe in climate change. The reason I am not doing more to combat climate change is because of “those people.” If only “they” would believe what I believe then things would be okay. They are the problem.
That’s a myth. There is no need to let “those people” dictate my actions. Imagine if all of us concerned about climate change acted on our concerns instead of spending energy trying to persuade others to share our concern. Imagine if “we” all acted as if climate change was a huge threat instead of trying to persuade “them” to act with us.
Let’s just do this. It’s called “let your life speak.” It’s called “leadership by example.”
There are many, many things that I cannot control. What I can control is how I spend my time and my money. I am my best self when I act on my truth with my time and money; not paralyzed by the myth that I can’t act on my truth if my truth is not complete or universal.
In order to act, it doesn’t have to be “the” right thing to do. It just needs to be “a” right thing to do.
Here is my challenge for you:
- Decide your own truth
- Do not impose your truth on others
- Change your truth as you see and learn new things
- Work with others to find common truth
- Act on your truth
I think that truth is based on relative understanding. It’s a myth to think that a single truth can be true for all of us, or should be. We all see different things from different places with different experiences that filter and analyze what we see. Let us not fight about what is universally true but rather understand what is true for ourselves and for each other.
The first part of the challenge is both instant instinct and lifelong quest. For some things, we know what we believe right away. I see or hear a work of art and it speaks to me immediately. I know that I love it. Other truths, like what work we should do or where we should live or who we should marry, might take a life time. In fact, some might say that the purpose of life is to answer the question “Who am I supposed to be?”
The second part of the challenge is a lot like “live and let live.” The idea is that it’s perfectly fine for each person to decide what is true for themselves, decide what works for them. But it is absolutely not okay to make others to conform to what I believe is true. I am allowed to define my own truth, based on my relative understanding of the world around me, and with that comes a responsibility to respect what others decide are their own truths.
Part three of the challenge trashes the myth that truths are unwavering: “If it’s really true, it’s true forever.” Not true. And terribly destructive. This myth encourages us to hang on to old and unhelpful ideas in the face of new situations and new information. Truth changes, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s encouraged. In fact, it’s essential for survival. It’s called adaptation.
The fourth challenge is about peacemaking. I make war when I try to impose what I think is true on someone else. For example: my people have a right to this land or, you people should behave as I say. I make peace when I am open to learning from others why they behave the way that they do and when I start from a place of respect rather than arrogance. I make peace when I express my own truth with a willingness to change it in the face of new understanding. Peace emerges when all the parties are willing to change their truths in
order to find common truth.And the last challenge is what actually changes the world. Talk without action is just talk. Reading words on a computer screen and thinking big thoughts in our heads is just reading and thinking. The world needs change. Changes happens when we get away from our screens and out of our heads and do stuff.
What is your truth? And what are you going to do about it?