Its been a funny old week so far hasn’t it? Also, is it seriously only Wednesday?
Truth. Its a weird one. This quote always sits well with me- ‘Most people don’t really want the truth. They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.’
Its a stinger and I’m afraid I can’t remember who said it, but it resonates deeply. Especially this year.
We all have stuff we believe to be true and this year truths have been in technicolour…as well as for many, a feeling of having no idea what to believe as true too.
Relating to covid, many people have sat firmly in a mantra of ‘believe in the science, science is truth and fact.’ As a way to feel less unease around all that’s been happening this year, but honestly even the best scientist will tell you that science is ever evolving, moving and changing. A scientific fact is a fact until its not, and then a new theory or hypothesis is brought forward and confirmed, to become fact. This doesn’t dismiss the value and importance of science and its definitely easier to believe in science even with its movement.
And scientific truths are also argued and debated amongst scientists too, there are many truths and so many of them are all true at once, depending on which slant you give it. What I feel most sad about though, is a growing disbelief and distrust in science.
Being able to separate the scientific minds away from the politicians and companies using that science is super important and its getting harder to do, especially with so many programmes and studies funded by people looking for specific outcomes to the studies. Science is not immune to bias no matter how well intentioned the origin of the study may be.
I guess the truth of the matter is that truth is subjective. I may have many truths that exist in total opposition to things that are truth to you. There are very few things that can be defined as complete immovable truths and yet we give such faith in the truths that fit each of us.
I think for me, this year has been a space of really getting in touch with being better at accepting that. In accepting that my truth is mine. My stories and beliefs are my subjective experience and that others will have differing ones.
But not only accepting this but also looking honestly at my truths as things come up and asking myself if they may cause harm to myself, or others. Because if they do, maybe I need to take a deeper look at whether that harm is worth it.
A lot of this year has been spent continuing my personal journey relating to racism, ableism, transphobia, fatism, sexism ya know- all the isms. Again that quote returns to me. Do I really want to see the truth of things as they are or am I just looking for reassurance of what I believe to be true?
I know for many, it would definitely preferable to believe for example, that blanket racism died a long time ago. Of course there’s those people stuck in the past like your racist uncle but widespread systemic racism? Nah, not a thing.
As a white woman it would be so easy to find plenty of truth to back up that belief right? I mean that confirmation bias is everywhere. But its there because I’m not the person that daily systemic racism happens to. When you arent the one being oppressed, you have to actually seek out the truth to see it clearly and if we arent seeking it out and challenging it? Well. Yeah.
I do not speak for black people and people of colour and I really don’t believe I should. Because when you listen, they say over and over again that they don’t have the luxury of pretending racism is dead or turning a blind eye to it. They are confronted with it daily and have constant background questions about whether things happen as they do for them because they just didn’t match something, or because of the colour of their skin. Daily fear, daily worry. Daily anxiety. Daily mistreatment. Daily experiences of a world that has been designed to put them bottom or worse, dead.
Just because someone may not want to believe it, doesnt make it not real for those experiencing it.
As a mum of non gender conforming and questioning children, I would love to believe that life is much better for the LGBT+ community in 2020.
I’d love to just look at how much better the male gay community is treated and presume its roses for every other person too. But just because the truth is uncomfortable and scary, doesnt make it a truth I dont want or need to hear. I need to know and understand what my children are facing, so that I can face it with them. I may not be able to join them in their experiences, but I can join them in body and voice and mind (loudly) so they are not fighting the hate and discrimination alone.
You see, when you are a truth seeker you are more at home sitting with uncomfortable truths than pretty lies and that includes looking at your own lies and truths within as well. It includes having a group of trusted people around you who lovingly call you out and call you in when you are lying to yourself.
And it includes putting skin in the game instead of silently sitting on the sidelines.
Because how will you ever find out about what you believe, have those beliefs questioned, changed, strengthened or thrown away, if you spend your life in ignorant bliss of never standing for anything.
I respect every person who has stood up and shared their beliefs and truths this year, whether I believe in the same things or not.
Because that is where humans are at their most wonderful. When given the opportunity to explore, debate, argue, be passionate.
And you know who gives you those opportunities? You.
Blessings on this evening of truth.