Here is the truth: We don’t know the whole truth.

I came across this in my reading today from The 80/20 Principle:

Nothing flows from one simple cause. Nothing is inevitable. Nothing is ever in equilibrium or unchanged…few people understand what is really causing anything, good or bad.

Richard Koch

It is a lesson that is too often forgotten as we dig our heels in and expound the truth because we have a handful of data points that support our “truth.”

When the environment is chaotic, the truth is obscured. Those data points are hypothesis, rumor, gossip, and, sometimes, flat out lies. And yet, some among us cling on to data points that have no value because they are no longer true. We cling onto them because we want to stay “consistent” in our line of thinking.

Ah yes, the scared lineage of our thinking. That bloodline that justifies all of our decisions heretofore. Break the bloodline and we are a lie. We unravel. But, to unravel, to untangle, is that such a bad thing?

To pull on that thread of our “truth” or the “truth” we believe and to discover why we have stayed mentally knotted all these years. No, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. To understand that our consistency is not a show of commitment or conviction. Instead, we begin to see that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds:

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency, a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said today.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The truth is what makes good sense today and that is supported by evidence today. We can discard yesterday’s truth if evidence no longer supports it. We’ll worry about tomorrow’s truth tomorrow.

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