Thursday, April 08, 2004

Truth Chunks

This is to build a working vocabulary for this conversation about conversation.

I picture our belief system as a pile of rocks -- truth chunks. Chunks is a good description because rarely do our chunks stack neatly. They are much more of a pile. We may strongly believe that God commands us to take care of the poor and at the same time, have a strong belief that people should take care of themselves (there are better examples).

When we have conversations about ideas, we pick up one of our truth chunks and show another person what we like about that chunk, about what we don't understand about that chunk, or where we found that chunk. Because it is in our pile, that chunk is sacred to us. We are easily offended. We may find ourselves reluctant to even discuss that chunk, preferring instead to take out a less sacred chunk and discuss it.

Remember the common saying: "Don't discuss religion or politics." Why? Because these are often foundational chunks for people. They are sacred to them. And they don't like to hear negative things about their particular chunks.

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