Common Ground Giving Way

The idea of objective facts is slipping away.

We all used to work from the same set of finite encyclopedias, the very same elementary school principles. Good or bad, they were the same.

Now, there are so many sources, so many talking heads and talking articles coming at us through the same tiny pinhole, we can easily find the facts we need for the situation we’re in, to come out feeling on top.

Each of us has our favorite collection of fact interpreters. We may start with the same numbers, but by the time we finish listening to those talking heads and talking articles, we’re thinking in opposite directions from at least half the world.

From there, we see no other option than to keep going with the same interpreters and the same interpreter-seekers who we call brilliant, and who call the others not so brilliant. Or something worse.

I’m no different.

I think my facts are right and yours are either wrong or the same as mine. But I’ve also found it’s impossible to stand on common ground when I perceive the other person to be foolish.

Really, it doesn’t matter what we think. The fact is we are all, indeed, standing on the same ground that’s breaking apart beneath our feet, and when we begin to fall, irreversibly, and we reach for anyone’s hands around us – not just the hands we’re comfortable holding, we will realize that there were facts after all, and we were wrong.