This trail of thought started with a conversation I had with someone I don’t remember but it was such a great thought, I also tweeted it in my thread.

I made this tweet two years back and still believe in it. This blog is to expand on that thought.

What is truth?

When you ask what is truth to Bing Chat you get the answer - “Truth is when something is in agreement with reality or fact. It is the opposite of falsehood.”

I disagree with the answer because I believe that truth is not fact, it can change from person to person. For me, truth is something that someone accepts in their reality. Truth is something which can change but facts don’t.

Truth is subjective

Yep, it’s one of the biggest lies that truth is “the truth”. Truth can vary from person to person or place to place as everyone has different perspectives and experiences.

We all have different perspectives and experiences and we try to project them on all the situations we encounter. This is not wrong as we are saving a lot of energy but we are also losing on information and making our version of truth.

Your truth

We make our versions of truth so it’s easier for us to accept it. We build them around our beliefs, which we have formed over the years.

The reason for it is we all fear change because we have spent a substential amount of energy in building them, so will try our best to shield ourselves from change. We don’t want to change our beliefs so we just tweak the facts and build a version that is easier for us to believe. These are just simple basic white lies that we tell ourselves to save us from a mental breakdown.

These lies have a big impact on our lives and can affect them positively or negatively. But these are important as well to keep us focused on more important things at the instant than wandering in our world crying while looking at our dark side.

Let’s take an example, you went through a really bad breakup. You are thinking about what went wrong in the relationship. While thinking about it you might miss something important because it was not as important for you but it was important for the other person or you are not ready to face what you did and subconsciously ignore it.

So you have built your version of truth which was easier for you to accept.

The lies we tell others

Now that you have your versions of the story but you create more versions when you tell the story to others.

We create them just so that we feel accepted and other people don’t judge/hate us for what part we played in the story. Note that we create a version of our truth so it’s already missing some bits and pieces of information.

Continuing with the previous example, you are talking about your breakup with your friend. You might unintentionally miss the parts where you were wrong because in your version you did the right thing. Also, you might intentionally not tell them about a few other things, either to protect yourself or the other person.

Now your friend has 3rd version of the story which is closer to your version but far from your ex’s version.

How the world sees your truth

If your friend doesn’t how to keep his/her mouth shut then the game of chinese whispers begins. As it spreads it gets further away from the real truth. So it’s better to take it with a grain of salt if it’s not coming directly from the parties involved.

Also in some cases, people will assume what might have happened just because they can, these versions of truth have no relation to the facts.

But do we care about the world?

Going a bit off-topic, we all say that we don’t care what people think about us. But that’s another lie we tell ourselves. We constantly make changes to our decisions because of what we think of what other people will think about us.

I don’t see anything inherently bad about this because the fact is we live around people and we want them to not hate us so we make small changes in ourselves to make ourselves appealing to them. After all, it’s a survival game, the number of friends you have is directly proportional to the chances of better survival.

The lost truth

Now that all the people around you have their versions of truth and you are constantly bombarded with their opinions that you subconsciously change your versions as well. Because the more you hear the story the more you believe it.

This is how ads work. They constantly bombard you with the information they want you to believe in. I liked the article “What Does Advertising Do?” from Art Markman Ph.D. where he talks about it in detail.

Is it worth finding the real truth?

But with all this noise and hundreds and thousands of versions of the real truth, is it worth finding the real truth?

In my opinion, it depends on how important for you it is to find it. For me most of the time I don’t care what is the real truth and move on with my life because a modified truth is fine for me and will not change anything for me. But when something is very important for me I make sure that I come as close as possible to the real truth.

How one can find the real truth?

Life is not easy, it is impossible to find the real truth when human feelings are involved. Because feelings are something that never remains constant and can be influenced with much ease. So you might say something is true for you today, but it not be true tomorrow.

So, there is no real truth.