Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance.
Anthony Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713)
Truth in fiction has to be believable, but truth in reality is often too strange for easy belief. The power in truth is undeniable, yet it can be threatening and damaging if not gently handled by the teller. A bully can manipulate the truth to their own ends. A busybody can add falsehoods to a truth to make the retelling more dramatic. A person can alter the truths they tell themselves.
The chances for misuse are countless, depending on who is telling it and why. Real truth is a layered thing, what is seen on the face often differs from what underlies its appearance. Point of view is rarely the same between the viewer of any truth and the one living through it.
I look underneath what is visible. I let others tell their own truths. I judge not, least I judge unwisely. I am respectful enough of the power of truth to use it gently with others and with myself also. Changing truths to suit my own agenda is not my way. It makes more sense to let truth be all it can be by not dressing it in a costume that will alter its meaning to fit my needs. Much better to see it naked and unadorned, warts and all.
Altering the truth does not change hard facts. But personal growth often changes personal truths and that makes truth a very valuable tool. Building a life on anything less than the truth means accepting a lie as good enough. And although fiction is great, in novel form, it is no place to live full time.
THINK ABOUT IT
LET IT GROW
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