The Truth is a difficult thing. It keeps changing from one moment to the next. Just when you think you’ve got it, it slips out from under your feet. Yet we keep trying, we keep looking around at the world trying to make sense of it all. We keep asking ourselves the same questions, just in different ways. We wonder if we’ll get to the end with still no more answers than when we started. The sad truth is that no one can tell us with any certainty exactly what it is we’re headed toward, yet we can’t just sit down in the middle of the road and watch life pass by. We each have to go through it and hope that things will turn out all right in the end. We flock to the old standards of Heroes fighting impossible odds to finally prove superior to the Evil Villain (who himself epitomizes the darker sides of ourselves) in order to win the attentions of the “Perfect Match” (the One True Love with whom we will never be cross or disappointed). We hold out hope day after day for our own lives, happiness and fulfillment because the Hero always wins. Yet increasingly I see people telling stories of Reality, stories about the times in your life you realize that there are some things you can't take back. There are stories out there that helped me see. This is one of mine.
For some people, the ever-dangling Carrot of Bliss just isn’t enough, and they start to look around them. If they look hard enough in different places eventually they find reward and stumble upon something attainable, something visceral and real. Some people hold onto what they find, assuming that because it is the first taste of Truth they’ve had that it holds the sum of Truth for everybody else. Others get curious about the rewards that can be found by a “share and share alike” mentality. Some people are never satisfied once they’ve tasted something, flitting from one thing to the next, without ever completely committing. Others learn the trick of Taste with Appreciation, of Experience with Meaning.
Along with the Carrot there always comes the Stick of Reprimand. Some people learn to fear the pain and do everything in their power to avoid it. Some people get addicted to it, so much so that when they find a truth they spit it back out again. Others have the thought, however briefly, to see where that stick is coming from. Imagine their surprise when they realize that the sticks are all held by people just like them. The idea of correction is necessary, because without a new idea there can be no growth, but once people realize where the correction comes from they become individuals.
Individuals become selective in the others they will allow to correct them, some deciding to eliminate everyone else's sticks entirely. Society is simply about having the most advantageous sticks in place for the good of the individual and the group. A small truth is that we have to work with the environment we live in. I tried waving a magic wand three times clockwise, but there was no “Poof!” The bigger truth is that we get to work with what we make. If your particular view of the world should be shared, then give, but don’t force it. Offer someone your Truth, but take a bite of theirs too, and only use the process of correction to make things better.