He left a little earlier that morning so he could make it to the National Honor Society Meeting. The outgoing officers had nominated him for President and today was the vote. Attendance was mandatory for all nominees but he did not make the meeting.
Two blocks from his house, he was in a minor traffic accident resulting in his not only missing the meeting and being late for his first class, but he also became ineligible as a nominee for NHS President. Maybe his greatest disappointment was the damage to his first car.
There were two cars involved in the accident both drivers filed a report with the state trooper who recorded the incident. What follows are the reports given by the drivers.
Driver one – teen male: “I pulled up to the intersection and tried to look both ways. I could see it was clear to the right so I looked back left.” He pointed to the landscaping in a yard and continued, “I could not see around those bushes, so I pulled out a little to get a better view. That is when I saw her coming around the curve just before she started sliding into me and hitting the front of my car with her back quarter panel.”
Driver two – woman age 40+: “I was coming around the curve when I saw him. I hit my brakes and then tried to go around him, but he pulled out and he hit the back of my car. I just got it back from the shop getting the same area repaired. Someone else pulled out on me last month and the hit me in the same place.”
What is the truth? Did the woman’s car hit the teen or did the teen’s car hit the her car? Current culture would say both are true: one is his truth and one is her truth. I would say that one is her point of view and one is his point of view and that point of view depends on which seat you were sitting in. However, point of view is not the truth yet may contain truth.
The truth is much more simple.
The truth is much more simple. The truth lies in the simple facts.
- Fact one: There was and accident involving two vehicles at the intersection of Northview Drive and Webster Drive on that May morning of 1984.
- Fact two: The officer wrote the accident report up as an “unavoidable accident due to an obstructed view” and gave the seventeen year old male driver a ticket for “failure to yield the right-of-way.”
- Fact three: Both vehicles sustained minor damage and drove away.
- Facts four, five, and six: It was my first car, my first ticket, and my first accident.
Truth . . . Your Truth, My Truth, or The Truth
I started noticing the phrase, “live (speak, proclaim) your truth” in the 1990’s, mostly at high school graduation ceremonies. I balked at it then. That phrase communicates that truth is relative and not absolute. I wondered how a society can function if we could not agree on truth. Now, after more than a quarter of a century I see how that concept of relative truth is hurting society. Look at how that idea plays out in stories of police involved shootings. Look at how that impacts local, state, national, and international politics. Consider how relative truth played a role in the Nancy Kerrigan – Tonya Harding incident (including recent interviews and a new movie). Think about all the sexual harassment charges and claims coming forward after years have passed. How will we ever know the truth?
Truth lies with the facts. As Detective Joe Friday would say on Dragnet, “Just the facts.” Just the facts.
When you read, listen to, or watch the news. Pay attention to the facts to learn the truth. When you scan social media and a friend posts a meme or an article, check the source and the facts to learn the truth. When you read a religious book or article check the facts to learn the truth. When you hear a sermon or sit in a Bible class or discussion group, check the facts. The historian and physician, Luke records that the people of Berea “were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Act 17:11). The Bereans checked the facts.