Sunday, June 3, 2012

He Said, She Said, and the Truth

For years I've heard, and believed, that in every story there are at least three sides - the first person's, the second person's and the truth somewhere in the middle. Of course the more people involved, the more versions are birthed. Today, I reflected on this after a conversation with a particular gentleman who I don't know very well.

There is this couple who are going through a divorce. I met the wife about a year and half ago in a class and she has shared some of her trials with me. Then I met the husband in a different class about a year ago. Somewhere around six months after that, I figured out that they were married to each other. He never mentions the wife ... talks about his work, the children, all kinds of topics ... never the wife. This morning we engaged in insightful conversation that ranged from the HIV epidemic to sound business practices to the NY Red Bulls (I didn't know we had a soccer team) to summer camps. She, on the other hand, mentions him often and has provided a not so pleasant picture of her soon-to -be-ex-husband; very different than what he has projected to me. Which got me thinking.

We are all complex individuals with many facets to share. We encompass both positive and negative qualities. Sometimes we reflect one attribute more than the other. Certain people just bring out the worst in us and we should not be in each other's presence. I have to be careful not to make judgements based on other people's experiences, yet still hold their perceptions with the esteem it deserves. I diligently strive to remember that people who I have issues with don't always look the same to everyone else. The most important goal is not to be right but to be fair in my representation of self and others. It has been easy for me to tell a child that his/her action may be bad but that does not make him/her a bad person. I am trying to translate this into my relations with adults.

I am a work in progress. Far from perfect. I can be both loving and hateful; kind and mean; forgiving and vindictive; the list goes on. While I strive to feed the more constructive aspects of my personality, I will keep in mind that my sisters and brothers are doing the same.

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