Determining and Defining Truth

Determining and Defining Truth

The longer I live, the more I wonder what the word truth really means. As a child, truth was all about what my parents and grandparents told me. The authority of their word and presence in my life gave great weight to their opinions and directives. Their truth was the steering wheel through both the blooming and pruning formative years of my early journey.

I was influenced by their truth and as a child their truth became my truth until I became insightful enough to challenge certain aspects and lay a foundation of my own truth.  You may or may not have a similar testimony. But what does that say about truth? Is truth relative? What happens when a person grows up in an entirely different culture or part of the world than you? They are raised with respect to their parents and elders as well. Still, the truth they live by is quite different from your truth. Does that make their truth a lie? Is their truth inhumane or irrelevant because it’s different?

There are specific experiences that are significant to our process of personal growth and development. At the time, one may not have the vocabulary to articulate nor awareness to identify all the nuances of the event but it indeed has visceral meaning. The experience may have even been a seminally defining moment changing the trajectory of life. Furthermore, the timely words spoken from the participants resonated deeply. Rich meaning was indeed gleaned. Now the individual owns a powerful anecdotal story. Nonetheless, many times anecdotal stories are considered unreliable and influenced merely by personal perspective. Do we have a right to underestimate one’s personal experience? Who are we to judge? Is not truth the knowledge we need that meets us and equips us to handle the circumstances we are dealing with as we move along in our journey?

With that being said, does truth come from within us or without? Must truth be proven like a fact? If that’s truth how should it be or can personal truth be proven? Are there universal truths? Is truth only truth when it’s based on religious doctrines? Maybe truth is based on spiritual principles all humans possess? Is truth merely personal? Furthermore, is there a hierarchy in truth? For example, are some of us functioning at higher levels of truth while others resolve to live in black or white truth? How do you determine and define truth?

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

My authentic thought:

Truth is indeed relative at times. Our personal experiences, including culture and social location, shape our thinking, create our lens and determine what we identify as truth. However, there are universal truths that we come to know in a variety of ways. Our hopeful segue to universal truth, if effective, may be through our family belief systems, religion and or spiritual practices. I think universal truths give all people a common connection and understanding by which we set standards for morality.  These truths are evident throughout the world regardless of culture or nationality.

Every person is on a personal journey. As human beings we are all in the process of becoming. One should never negate the meaning of the personal experience of another whether it be with a child or an adult. Every experience  has meaning and serves as a stepping stone as we navigate our way through life.

All we have is right now. Whatever emotions are evoked from our experiences arise to help us learn about ourselves, interact with people, and engage the world we live in. Whatever we glean and learn that adds to or improve the quality of our lives is truth.

In Love and Peace,

Dr. Free


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Author: Dr. Free

Dr. Free is a veteran educator. Her area of expertise is African-centered education consulting. She is a life learner who is passionate about truth, liberation, and justice. Dr. Free strives to be true to herself. She expresses herself in a way that enhances the lives of others and she enjoys giving others the space and encouragment to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Determining and Defining Truth”

  1. Girl! You got this! I really enjoyed this post. I think the highest form of betrayal is when we betray ourselves. It’s so important for us to stand in our on truth.

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