Well, If Those Are My Only Choices, I’ll Take The Highway

The direction of our reality is relative to the angle of our perceptions. Too bad many of us think our reality is the only reality that matters — the way we view things the only truth.

The truth is, there is perceived truth and there is absolute truth. The perceived truth is dependent on the interpretations of the one who is doing the perceiving, while the absolute truth exists independently, objectively, and is usually beyond our ability to understand.

All human conflict, whether private or public, can be traced to our failure to accept that our perceived truth is a corrupted version of the absolute truth at its best, and a totally malicious misinterpretation of it at its worst. It’s no small problem. Our inability, or refusal, to perceive truth from a different angle than our own has killed millions.

Accept the possibility that you are wrong and you will often be the rightest person in the room. Get a bunch of people willing to accept that possibility in themselves and you can solve some big problems effectively and fairly.

I’ve always found it interesting that the people who defend their “rightness” the most vocally and adamantly, usually end up being the least right, the least intelligent, and the least courageous. They hold their certainty in front of them like it is a shield. They deal in force instead of finesse. They are unimaginative problem solvers. They usually succeed solely from their tenacity, but unfortunately, view any success they have as evidence of their rightness all along. Just another example of how they are often wrong.

Like my abstract art, I am comfortable with seeing things from different perspectives. My wife often looks at my paintings and asks “which way is it supposed to go?”. I tell her I don’t care, that it can be viewed from any inclination. One way appears mechanical and cold. Another way appears inviting and social. Still another appears uncomfortable and awkward. And like perceived truth, the “right” angle is a matter of individual preference as to what we want it to mean and how we want to see it. It has little to do with actual reality — little to do with absolute truth.

My wife likes the picture below at its present angle. I didn’t paint it that way, but I agree with her. I like it better that way as well. For now.

fence post painting

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