Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Law of Relativity

I really wish I was smarter!  I've been trying to understand the Law of Relativity - it's really been gripping me.  I've learned from experience that when I become gripped by something like this,  there is usually something I need to perceive spiritually.  So I've researched many sites on the internet - including those intended for children! -  in an attempt to understand the Law of Relativity and to hear what the Spirit would teach me about it.

I finally came across this video:

Suddenly it clicked and I understood!  Not that I understand the Law of Relativity (it's over my head!).  But I understood the message that the Law of Relativity holds for me.  It's really pretty simple - the place in which a person is standing determines their view of the truth.  It follows that each person has a unique perspective - no two people see things exactly alike!  When this is not understood, it can create problems when relating to others - and especially those of different backgrounds, cultures, and faith structures.  Two people may observe the very same phenomena, but see it from a different perspective or describe it in a different way.  Neither is necessarily wrong, just different. 

Here's an example that illustrates only one of the many ways this can play out in real life.  At one of my former workplaces, two co-workers became engaged in a heated discussion over the order in which documents should be placed in client files.  One maintained that the participant's application should be placed first in the file, the other worker claimed the best position for the application was inarguably last.  I watched as they argued back and forth for a few minutes.  Finally I said, "Girls! what are you arguing about?  You're both saying the same thing - each is just calling it something different.  You're both saying that the application should go on the bottom! "

Now, do different but valid perspectives mean there's no absolute truth?  No, just that any single perspective on truth can very well be partial.  As Scripture says, "we see through a glass darkly..."  But I do think that our different perspectives, if combined, could provide all of us with a larger view of the truth.  And repair many of the divisions among us.

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