We hold these truths to be self-evident….”

For a couple of reasons, this is what has been resonating in my mind on near-nauseating repeat for the past few days.

Overlooking the historical origin of those words, consider, for a moment, what truths in your life you consider to be self-evident.

Spouses/significant others will always be faithful.
True friends may go through tough times, but they always survive them.
Children should respect their parents.
Parents will always love their children unconditionally.
No one is perfect.
Love heals. 

 There are certain truths which should be self-evident. The trouble is that what is considered an obvious, universal truth to you, might  merely be subjective and open to debate for someone else. If truths really were all that evident, there would be no need to write sweeping proclamations about them, would there?

The operative word in the quote – the linchpin and the game-changer – is the word self. Your truths are evident to yourself. It’s only evident to others if you proclaim it. Furthermore, if what you proclaim about your relationships with others lays in stark contrast to what is evident in your own mind, the people closest to you are at risk of being steamrolled.

The bottom line – mean what you say and say what you mean…especially to the people you evidently proclaim to care about.

What truths do you hold to be self-evident?

15 thoughts on “Evidence”

  1. Most people try their best with their loved ones, even if it doesn’t seem successful to others.

    Most things are harder than we expect.

    Most of the good, and the bad, that people do comes from wanting to be loved.

  2. That all people are created equal. That we should treat others like we would like to be treated. That we are judged by how we treat the weak, the helpless, and the unfortunate. That we should protect those that cannot protect themselves. That a person’s body belongs exclusively to that person, and should therefore never be forced to have sexual relations with someone against their will, carry a child against their will, be the property of another person, or be forced to live when they want to die.

  3. That others may not remember what you say or what you do, but they will remember how you make them feel.

    Borrowed from Maya Angelou.

    And that I will try my best to treat you the way I want to be treated.

    And to be gentle with ourselves. We are doing our best.

  4. You nailed it with the word “self” being the salient word in this statement…

    I’d like to think that some truths circumvent interpretation, that they rise above someone’s ability to rationalize their lack of importance.

    I’m an optimist at heart. Which is my truth; it’s what’s evident to me.
    And yet.

    I know this leaves me open to disappointment.
    Still. I will keep hoping for the good in others.

    Despite quite a bit of evidence to the contrary…

    1. “I will keep hoping for the good in others.”

      Me, too. I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as “good” or “bad.” We all have both within us. I think I just have a tendency sometimes to be so focused on the good, that the other stuff sneaks up and bites me in the ass. How I can be surprised by it when I almost expect it either speaks to my selectively-blind optimism or my naivete. Maybe both.

  5. I am not an optimist. You don’t want to hear my truths. 🙂 But the best part about them is that they are unique to myself, and I try not to impose them on others.

  6. En Cinco's Gran-Gran

    I know you’ve heard it before but: My children are the testament to my greatness and you have seen the greatness in them.

    My other, most self evident truths are: I try not to place my values on the choices others make and I try hard not to judge them. There is a difference between making sound judgments vs. being judgmental.

    A person’s perceptions are their reality and they guide themselves accordingly and will react according to that reality. I may not like it, understand it, or agree with it but I have to accept the other person’s reality. The last truth to follow explains why.

    LAST BUT NOT LEAST: The bottom line is “It’s not about me!” When we use the Zen way of enlightenment, the sadness, the hurts, the disappointments really aren’t about us unless we own it. Just because YOU don’t like the way I dance won’t stop me from dancing with glee. I choose not to allow someone’s issue with me to become mine and stop my dance. (Metaphorically speaking)

    It takes a lot of practice to see things this way but for me, it stopped me from owning a lot of BS.

  7. That the same truth can look very different when you’re standing in different places, but that doesn’t make it false.

    That Love is powerful, but that it can’t conquer much of anything unless it brings along its posse: Determination, Courage, and Patience.

    That it can be very helpful to imagine how another person might be feeling in a given situation, but that it is completely counterproductive to assume that what you are imagining has anything to do with the truth.

    That being a good person requires constant practice. People who make it look easy do so because they work very hard at it.

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