The sky is blue. Water is wet. These are held by most to be evident truths. We as a society agree on the reality of these and other similar statements. But what about statements such as “I love you.” While it may be the truth (one person feels what they define as the emotion of love for another) to some the expression or evening the feeling is different. Much of society is built on these subjective or perceptive truths.
Some would say that these are opinions or beliefs and not truths. The question then becomes what is truth? Is the emotion of love less valid than the color of the sky or the physical state of H20? It causes similar reactions if not stronger reactions in people. Whole sections of society base themselves on the idea that love is real, can be felt, and is the truth. This societal reality then can be, for some, as true as the scientific reality of atoms.
The challenge arises when these truths, which are usually sacred to most, come into conflict with the truths of another (or group of anothers). It is at this point, where realities do not mesh, that conflict arises. Often, this conflict is ignored in favor of continuing harmony. Other times though it can build to the point of war. Defending what is the truth within your paradigm carries with it the passion of belief and faith in the world around you.
Words are also realities…liberal, conservative, black, colored, partner, spouse. These words help us to define how we see the world and because each one carries with it a world of meaning it allows for an almost shorthand of sorts. Politics as well as writing and marketing all have shown that to paint with words is to change reality and to shift the perceptions of the population. Educators do the same thing as do historians. Inevitably, these words for the framework that reality is built on.