Category Archives: Empathizers

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Define Truth

What is truth? Marridiam-Webster Defines it like this:

Clip from truth definition on Merriam-Webster website.
Mirriam-Webster’s Definition of Truth

Proving That YOUR Truth is THE Truth

I have a tendency to overthink some things. Okay, okay. I overthink EVERYTHING. And recently I found myself in the middle of a debate on the topic of vaccinations.

We all have to make our own decisions on these big issues based on what we believe and what we know.  And sometimes what we know to be true may not actually be true.

Let’s just say that you have done a lot of extensive research, This is a very good place to start when trying to get to the truth of any topic.  But this is just the beginning. WHERE do you do your research? The internet? A library? The problem becomes who wrote the books or the website article that you are reading? How do you know this person is credible? Where did they go to school?

How is it that two people in the same profession with the same credibility can have two opposing “truths” about the same subject? Bottom line? There are facts. There are real things, events and facts that cannot be refuted. They are scientifically provable or visually observable. But even in science there are many un-provable  theories that scientists will tell you that they believe to be truth beyond a reasonable doubt because of what they have learned and observed in relationship to those theories. In faith, there are un-provable beliefs that Christian ( myself included) believe to be true beyond ANY doubt , because we can feel it in the core of our being.

When something is true, it doesn’t matter if we believe it or not. It is true either way.  And if we find ourselves on one side of a debate that even scientists may not be able to prove or disprove,  should we get angry or upset over the fact that someone else doesn’t believe it to be true? A person who is an Atheist or a Christian has nothing to gain or lose over convincing someone else that what they believe is true except for bragging right.  And a bruised ego is the only reason we get upset if we feel like we have lost the argument.

As Christians, we are commanded to spread the Gospel throughout the land. We are not commanded to force people to believe. And although we are saddened if they are not convinced that God is Truth, we definitely don’t need to get angry over it. And let’s be honest. It doesn’t do much for our testimony.

Not So Cut and Dry

But what if there is more of an opinion in the hot button topic than a solid truth? What about doing things in public that effect others? Smoking, talking on your telephone, texting while walking down the street, going out into a crowd when you have a bad cold and an uncontrollable cough?  Or how about washing our hands when we are done using a rest room (don’t get me started)?

It isn’t just a matter of what we believe is true or right, but then we have to also take into account how it effects others. Let’s be honest. Only someone who is totally not thinking (I am occasionally guilty of talking or texting while walking because I don’t think about what I am doing. Not going to lie.), has never taught better, or is just plain  narcissist would neglect to consider others in these situations.

With the issue of vaccinations, however,  it is a lot more complicated. No matter which side of the isle you fall on this one, it is cut and dry. If you are of the mindset that vaccinations are actually poison to you and your children, how can you possibly comply with the insistence that you or they be injected. If, on the other hand, you believe that the vaccinations have been a true blessing in annihilating diseases and have little risk of complication, how can you stand the thought of your child interacting with someone in a public situation who has chosen NOT to get these shots?

No mater what you believe to be true about vaccinations, I don’t know anyone that is willing to play Russian Roulette with their child’s life.

I would really appreciate it if you did not bombard me with emails about why what you believe is right. Just take away from this post that there are always two sides to every coin. And in both cases, the belief is very real and true to your opponent. Their are two sides to every coin. Even if yours is the right side, be empathetic to the fact that things look very different on the other side.

Focus: Intentional Thinking

focusWhat exactly is focus? According to dictionary.com, focus (v) is to direct one’s attention or efforts. To me, that means intentional thinking. I’ll give you an example. How many times have you walked past something in your house and had the fleeting thought that it needed to be picked up, thrown away or otherwise dealt with?

Well, for me it happens all the time. I think, “As soon as I am done with “this” (whatever I am doing at that moment), I will take care of “that” (whatever needs to be picked up, thrown away, or otherwise dealt with). The problem comes when finishing “this”, makes “that”, completely flee from my mind.

True story: I was very mindful that I had an appointment that I need to leave for the second I finish work. I was even thinking about it the moment the clock struck “Time to Leave”. But if someone asked me for help with something at the last moment. SQUIRREL! I immediately started helping them. At the moment I got out to my car, I remembered the appointment. Glancing at the clock, I realized that I could not possibly make it to the appointment in the two minutes I had to make a 20 minute trip.

This was actually the second or third time I had forgotten this appointment. The first three times I met with this person were no problem. It was summer break and I was not working for two months. As soon as school started up, I was unable to make the next appointment no matter what I did.

I called and apologized and told them I would not schedule another appointment. I just didn’t trust myself to not do it again next time.

Lesson learned. No more appointments of any kind for the first few weeks, maybe even months of the school year until I can get back into the routine.

I am just now starting to understand that I have got to take the time to start recognizing the WHY’s of what I struggle with so I can fix them.  If you struggle with things like this on a regular basis, start to look at the situations and understand WHY they happen; what triggers them. Then you can start to prevent them from happening again.

And don’t forget to apologize. I know you don’t do it on purpose. I don’t do it on purpose. The person you have offended may even know that you don’t do it on purpose. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for them. And an apology will go a long way in mending damaged relationships.