I think there are two kinds of truth, little “t” truth and Big “T” Truth. If anyone walks up to you wagging their finger and says,
“You want the truth…I’ll tell you the truth!” …
…they are about to share their opinion with you. Big T Truths are timeless and transcend the small snapshots of little t truths we call facts. Big T Truths were true before you and I were born, and they will be true long after we are gone. Little t truths are context dependent. The difference is embedded in the old saying, “Do you want to be right (little truth), or do you want to be kind?” (Big Truth: we need to be both.)
Long before The Story Factor, I wrote Territorial Games – about people gaming the truth – and A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths – how to get a group to tell themselves the truth. So, it’s always been about truth for me. That is why I got interested in storytelling. I found a Big T truth in the story that naked Truth was turned away until Parable dressed her in story so people invited her to sit at their table.
My hope is to journal “out loud” and find people (like you?) who are interested in having a dialogue about the idea of Big T Truths and the norms that keep our eyes and hearts wide open to supposedly dangerous truths that if ignored, will threaten our collective survival. In fact, it seems that some our algorithms now gamify truth in ways that lead to infighting, withholding information, and excluding certain narratives.
Big T Truths embrace the paradoxes we cannot avoid if we want to live a meaningful life by balancing both love and power. Honestly I think some of the recent efforts to “science the shit” out of storytelling lead to smaller either/or truths and skip the “art part” necessary to retain paradoxical Big T Truths.
As a kid, I learned certain kinds of truth telling were dangerous to my survival. These experiences spring-coiled me to jump out of my skin when it feels like it is happening again.
It’s happening again.
Trauma made me hyper vigilant specifically for abuses of power and hypocrisy. I’ve learned to lighten up, but it’s still there. And I think it makes me useful.
If enough people are interested, I’ll post about the games I see people playing with truth. Please leave a comment if this sounds interesting to you.