Luke: Obi-Wan. Why didn’t you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father.Obi-Wan: Your father was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view. Luke: [incredulously] A certain point of view? Obi-Wan: Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
No, I haven’t seen the latest Star Wars, but I want to do so. Nor was I listening to TV pundits and politicians debate about “Fake News,” although there seems to be little else discussed. Obi-Wan’s words came to mind when I was writing yesterday’s Pew about how Matthew recalls that Jesus said, “Be perfect,” and Luke says he said, “Be merciful.”
Think this is a bunch of hooey then recall the conversation with your spouse the other day. He says, “one more cookie won’t hurt me.” She says, “you’ve eaten too many already.” The truth depends on each person’s point of view. Of course this is a ridiculous example, but I do think that Obi-Wan is right when he says “you are going to find that many truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”
A lot of understanding of our neighbors will come if we listen to our neighbors words and action from their point of view. What we might consider offensive and outrageous is appropriate from their point of view, and vice versa. In addition to listening with understanding ears and seeing with understanding eyes, there are times where we are called to guide our neighbor change his or her point of view.
Take a minute in the next few days to ask yourself, “what truths are dependent on my point of view and which truths are universal truths?” It’s a good exercise for your soul.