Contrasting Narrative

James Bacarro

April 3, 2021

“You will not go to heaven if you are not born again”. I couldn’t forget when my classmate in 5th grade, who’s a pastor’s kid, enthusiastically pointed the verse in the Bible to another classmate – who was a Roman Catholic.

Being a pastor’s kid myself, I wasn’t sure what to make of it and I didn’t have a strong opinion about it. Perhaps it was because I don’t remember my dad forcing people to convert to being a “Born-again” Christian to get to heaven.

Humans, by nature, tend to lean towards the collective narrative, as dictated by the community they are a part of. I remembered I sat with a group of professionals in Dubai, and our discussion was focused on each our our “Truths”. We had varied definitions and how we defined our truths were mainly based by our own experiences.

And then there’s the part wherein — if it resonates with you and aligns to your values, you tend to accept that something as truth. When something fits well with your narrative, the story you tell yourself, or how you view the world — that something becomes your truth.

However, your truth is not someone else’s truth.

Disagree but respect

President Rodrigo Duterte respects the principles the communists live by and are fighting for, but he disagrees with their ways and he goes after them when they go above the law.

Some of my family members believe that Bill Gates started the covid-19 plandemic, or the pandemic was part of the plan to take down the pedophiles like Tom Hanks and Oprah, and the many other conspiracy theories. I don’t believe all these theories and find most of the stories ridiculous. I could even come up with reasons or the possible motivations behind these conspiracies.. because “I know better” — at least what the story my ego-self was telling me.

But as I reflect on it, I realized that they feel as strongly as I am on their own opinions (or whether they call it as “truth” or “facts”). Debating about who’s right or wrong will only result in unhealthy relationships. Surely, there would be some level of truths to some of what they believe in and once that’s proven, I’d be accepting and admit that I was wrong when that time comes.

One can chose to disagree and at the same time respect the other side.

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