Thursday, February 7, 2013

truth and other trivial pursuits

So anyway...

I started this blog and I figured: write whatever you want, and I thought: cool, maybe I’ll spend several hundred words placing complicated clues in my article that seem to point to something Really Important if you take the time to figure them out so that people will spend days and days puzzling over them, tearing hair from distended follicles and rubbing already dry skin until it peels off like old cracked corn husks. I mean, what the heck: people love that kind of crap!

But the thing is that I really didn’t have anything Really Important to reveal, so I was just about ready to give up on the whole thing when I saw a campaign commercial and it occurred to me that it really didn’t matter whether I did or didn’t: no one actually cares in the long run whether you speak the truth; they only care that they think you do. Or anyway they only care that they can act in a way that makes them believe they think you do.  And that is usually good enough.

Being deep is not a human characteristic.  Neither is making sense.

Too many people spend too much time fighting over which version of The Truth is Really The Truth and they forget that most versions include some kind of message about being kind to each other.  It would all be pretty funny if they were fighting over, say, whether it is ever permissible to eat pastrami on dark rye.  (Absolutely.)  Or whether sea foam green is the new fuchsia. (I’m not quite sure that fuchsia was ever the new fuchsia.)  But fighting over whether it makes more sense that Ultimate Truth was handed down on a bunch of stone tablets or a burning bush or a carpenter who liked to hang around with beggars and hookers or a prophet who was, by all accounts, seriously image-shy, seems rather a waste of good television time.
I mean really: we might have just as easily been handed “The Truth” by a rainbow colored sandpiper or a free-floating chalk drawing or some guy named Bob who lives in a cardboard box near the train station.  Walk around in a dark room with a flashlight.  Every once in a while, randomly point it somewhere and turn it on.  Then think this about whatever you see: that’s The Truth. Because it will probably make just as much sense as most stories. 

I am a Unitarian Universalist. As UU’s, we’re not all that into “The Truth.” We’re more into the search for it.  Which is sort of cool.   It’s always more fun to look for something than to think you know the answer.  Life is not about the finding; it’s about the searching.  Harry Chapin said it best: “It’s got to be the going, not the getting there, that’s good.”  And that’s The Truth.

At least that’s what Bob told me when I visited his box last week.


Ellen Belluomini said...

Missed you at the Women's Spirit Conference! :)

Karen Topham said...

I missed me there too! (Maybe next year?)