Various points of view are just different ways of interpreting a series of events, none of which are “the truth.” So here’s the bad news: Your viewpoint is never “the truth.” The good news: The other person’s point of view isn’t “the truth” either.
Here’s a little exercise that will demonstrate that no viewpoint is ever “the truth.”
Whenever you notice that you disagree with someone else’s viewpoint on anything, do the following exercise:
• Identify the point of view with which you disagree? State it in one or two sentences.
• Describe some early experiences that might have led to that viewpoint.
• Can you see that, given those experiences, holding that point of view makes sense?
• Imagine you had those experiences and formed those beliefs. Then answer the question: Can you see that if you had the same experiences, you probably would have the same point of view you are now disagreeing with?
• If your answer is yes, can you get that your point of view is reasonable given your experiences, but it is not “the truth”?
In other words, if the viewpoint you hold is nothing more than the result of your “accidental” experiences earlier in life, then you cannot claim truthfulness for it.
Listen to the news and notice how often you disagree with something the “other” political party is saying. And what about disagreements with your children? If they are teenagers you may disagree with much of what they say. What about your co-workers? Articles in the newspaper? Etc. If you were to notice every time you disagreed with someone else’s viewpoint on any given topic you’d probably be surprised to discover it happens 10, 20, or even more times a day.
A few examples of differing viewpoints
For example, one point of view is: Because Obamacare will help millions of people get health insurance, who had never been able to get insurance before, at a price they can afford, this is a good government program. Another point of view is: Obamacare is government interference in the medical system, will lead to socialized medicine, and will result in the government making decisions that should be left to individuals. Each of these viewpoints is a belief about Obamacare.
There are at least two distinct viewpoints on all political issues, for example, climate change, immigration, state voting regulations, the debt ceiling, and entitlement programs. Often we have a different viewpoint on many personal issues from our spouse (spending money and child raising), our children, our parents, and our friends.
And, of course, it always seems to us as if our viewpoint is right and the other viewpoint, regardless of who holds it, is wrong.
You don’t need to give up your points of view
I’m not at all suggesting you give up your viewpoints or your beliefs. Feel free to hold on to any point of view you want. And continue to argue and fight for them. Just don’t claim that yours are true and that someone else’s is false. None of them are “the truth.” And it’s fine to prefer one to the other.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments about no point of view can ever be “the truth.” Your comments will add value for thousands of readers. I read them all and respond to as many as I can.
Morty Lefkoe is the creator of The Lefkoe Method, a series of processes that improve the quality of people’s lives. One revolutionary process, the Lefkoe Belief Process, permanently eliminates limiting beliefs. To actually try that process, go to http://recreateyourlife.com/free. To read more of his posts, visit his blog at http://mortylefkoe.com
Copyright © 2013 Morty Lefkoe
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