Cascade Church Portland

To Be Honest:: Subjective vs. Objective Truth

May 1, 2018

Have you ever heard a child mispronounce a word and find it so adorable you never bothered to correct them? 

Allow the full grown adult version of one such child let you know about the pitfalls of this decision. 

Mapkins.

These are the paper (or cloth if you're fancy) devices used to clean up any sort of mess and are most commonly used during meals. Many of you would have corrected me and said that it's actually "napkins". "N" and "M" sound DANGEROUSLY similar and it's an honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. 

My family let it slide for the sake of their own entertainment. 

Fast forward to a young child in the public school system asking for another "mapkin". My peers found this to be less adorable and more hysterical.

This was made more hilarious to them with my insistence that they were called mapkins. 

I had always called them mapkins. I asked for a mapkin at home and I was handed one. It was often my job to put the mapkins on the table before dinner. My parents told me to put the mapkin in my lap when we ate out. 

I quickly learned that the rest of my social world called them napkins and I was the one who was wrong. When I confronted my family on this revolutionary truth and the horrible mistake we had all been making for years, I found myself to be all alone. They knew. They weren't calling them mapkins annnnnnywhere else. 

I had a subjective truth that was shattered by the objective truth. Subjective truths are the ones that appear true from your vantage point. Objective truths are true regardless of your vantage point. Regardless of who you are or where you grew up these things are true. 

Do you know people who present their subjective truths as objective truths? It's something that happens a lot and many times we don't know we're doing it until we encounter people who challenge our assumptions of subjective truth. 

Most of us live, hang out and work with people who share our subjective truth. In that setting discovering objective truth is nearly impossible. 

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