“What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the
life always spills over the rim of every
We must remain open to new ideas and be prepared to accept
that truth evolves very quickly. With each new experience or idea presented, our definitions for things change.
Take the cell phone, for example. In 1982 the Federal Communication Commission authorized commercial cellular
service in the United States. At that time, a cell phone was a prized possession and its
use a symbol of status and importance. To have and use a cell phone in public added to one’s standing.
Over the course of many years society has changed its
perception of “truth” regarding public use of cell phones and, at each stage of change, there was a time of
controversy and fear. In 2001 New York was the first state to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving because of
the increased chances of collision. According to the 1997 New England Journal of Medicine’s
examination of hospital records, drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash if they are
talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. These new data added to our collective pool of knowledge and
produced a change in the notion of the use of cell phones for many people—but not all people. The Missouri
Association of Realtors is one group that has not changed its view of cell phone use while driving. Its position
is, “We’re generally opposed to restrictions on cell phone use, when they’re used as cell phones” said Sam
Licklider, a lobbyist for the association. “The simple fact is, [realtors] are in their car a lot and they use
their phones for business.” The evolution of truth to this point took over twenty years, and the
truth of it continues to evolve. In January of 2009, the National Safety Council called for a ban on all cell phone
use while driving, including hands-free cell phone use. We will watch again as truth evolves.
It’s easy to look back and watch the truth of cell phone use
evolve over the years, but it isn’t so easy to see truth evolve in your life day by day. Just like the cell phone,
your definition and truth about all your values will change with each new experience. For example, one value many
people hold in high regard is family. This is one of the most often talked about values in my coaching practice.
Family relationships can create beautiful support and/or crushed spirits, yet most people rigidly hold to one
single definition of this value—the one their parents gave them in the first place. As you grew from child to
adult, the definition of family had to change to include people with whom there is no genetic connection. Friends
become “family.” A member of your genetic family may be intentionally spiteful and mean, even steal from you or
physically abuse you. This brother or sister or even parent is, by genetic connection, technically in your family,
but is he or she entitled to the openness, trust, loyalty, respect and generosity that is the norm for this value
of family? What if you have a family of your own now? Do you prioritize all family members in the same way?
People who consciously hold fast to the truth of any value will experience huge internal conflicts. Using this
family example, how conflicted would you feel if your evil family member asked to move in with you?
The bottom line is to be open to the evolution of truth in all
areas of life. Evolution is, by definition, unpredictable, so allow truth simply to evolve as it will. Try to be
curious about the path truth takes and be conscious in updating all the values that connect with the evolving
truth. When presented with a situation that creates internal conflict, check first with your values and be sure
they are up to date. It’s cool how that check-in makes everything so clear.
“What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to
embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.”--Unknown
What do you think? Can important and standard truths change?
Have you experienced internal conflict when presented with a value that’s out of date? Email me at
Lorraine@Peacemaker-Coach.com with your