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Life is only what you wonder.

Monday, November 28, 2005

What Is Truth?

Someone recently contacted me inquiring about one of my fellow bloggers.
(I won't mention any names, so don't ask.)
They were questioning whether the blogger in question was really who they said they were. They thought the photos that went along with the blog were not of the person who wrote the blog and implied that most of the posts on that blog were fabricated or untrue.
"Have you ever met so-and-so in person?" they asked me, "Are they really who they say they are?"

You know, up 'til then I had never thought to question it.

I don't expect 100% honesty from anyone.
Everyone --even if it's only slightly, and once in awhile--embellishes their stories to some extent, leaves out the potentially embarrasing moments, punches up the things that make them look better or that make the story more dramatic, and omits the things that would possibly confuse the reader, or the things that had only a minute impact on the events but were totally irrelevant to the matter at hand.
It's a natural part of storytelling.
You do it without thinking too much about it.
And if you have a journal-type blog (as I and many others do) then, like it or not, to some extent you're a storyteller.

Then, there's the aspect of proof to consider.
How can you ever know if what you read on a blog is the truth, partly the truth, riddled with lies, or a total lie altogether?
Sure, I say my name is Jimmy, I'm a waiter in a steakhouse restaurant, I live in a house in Baltimore with my husband and my little dog Rico. I say that's my photo to the right.
I could even swear that all of the above is the total absoloute truth.
How can you know if any of that is actually the truth?
There's no way of knowing.

Of course, the people that know me in real life know. But what about everyone else?
I suppose if you were local you could try to hunt me down. There are all kinds of clues where I live, where I work, and where I hang out in this blog. It wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to be able to find me if they were determined enough.
But what about those people on the other side of the planet that are reading this?

My point is, there's no way to know -- for 100% -- if any of this, or what you read (or see) on any other blog is true.
It's out there, and you're free to believe it or not. It's your choice.
People believe what they want to believe anyway. That's why the National Enquirer is one of the best-selling magazines in the world.

People blog for various reasons. I do it to get my ideas out there. I do it to free my mind of all the clutter that bulds up in there. I do it to tell my interesting, funny, (or sometimes tragic) stories.
And yes, I do it to entertain.
I want you to be interested, intrigued, inspired. That's not my sole purpose for doing this, but it's one aspect of it. (And I would do it anyway, even if my readership dropped to barely nothing, because this blog entertains me. I enjoy it. It's a labor of love.)

The question isn't whether it's "true" or not.
The real question is: did it educate you? Did it touch you, move you? Did it make you laugh out loud? Did it make you think about things or think about things differently? Did it bring you up when you were down? Did it excite or arouse you? Did it provide a neccessary distraction when you needed an escape? Did it relieve the boredom for five minutes?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then it has worth.
Whether or not it's "true" is irrelevant.

Believe it.