The conference call reflected the gap in how each person understood a particular event. As the awareness of the differences grew, an important element emerged. We need a shared perspective. As we dealt with the specifics, you could feel the tension and frustration rising with each voice. Even though we were on the same side, the conversation was moving to something adversarial.
At times, a context can be presented with bias. You can feel the bias even before you know it is a fact. In diplomatic speak, this is not helpful. It is an old pattern. As an example, “when Paul was called before the court, Tertullus spoke for the prosecution: ‘Most Honorable Felix, we are most grateful in all times and places for your wise and gentle rule.’” (Acts 24.3) Everyone knew that the context with myth. Felix understood. The audience knew his rule with hard and selfish. The presented context was a string of lies. It has no strength.
The context of our call was missing. What was there was wrong. Even as I struggled to find an appropriate starting point, a colleague stepped in. Let’s walk through a normal transaction. I translated this; “let’s start with the facts”.
Facts can tell a story. When we listen, Life speaks.
Facts can be abused. Intentionally or carelessly, facts are used a weapons. Additionally, incomplete facts or ones out of context spread confusion.
Facts are, at their best, neutral. They simply are. What happens with them rests with the listener. Are facts heard with an intention to learn? If so, facts are helpful. Otherwise, facts lose their power and purpose.
Grasping the facts in our lives is rarely easy. Life is chaotic. Facts seem to be ever changing. Additionally, we are inundated with facts and information. The tsunami will drown even the strongest.
Today will open with a wave that hits before I have had a chance to wake up. Knowing this suggests I should wake rested and open. Today is an opportunity to learn. Life is willing to guide. Our response can be the difference.