…accuracy or interpretation…

“Accuracy of statement is one of the first elements of truth; inaccuracy is a near kin to falsehood.” — Tryon Edwards
In the realm of life lessons, I have (on more than one occasion) confused factual “accuracy” for an interpretation.   It’s easy to make assumptions.  Like the assumption that transforms a “fact” into interpretation (“that couldn’t possibly be right”), or the one that transforms an “interpretation” into a fact  (“Hey, it’s my way or the highway!”)   All that is required is a minor shift in perspective – that little shift that leads to a distortion.
Catching yourself in a distortion takes work; real vigilance is required. 

So ask yourself: “Are you being accurate with what you just heard or are you interpreting?” 

Accuracy creates a reality, but so does an interpretation – so…which one is it?

  • If you are “interpreting,” then what does it get you? – advantage, position, clarity (without cost)
  • If you are accurately “reporting,” what does that get you? – honesty, trust,  integrity (and maybe a cost) 

If you are unsure which side is dominate, then ask yourself to commit to a ranking:  “On a scale of 1-10, with total accuracy being ten, and a total interpretation a one – what does this seem like to me?”

Even if you muster a wild guess, you still have a piece of information that can take you somewhere.  Consider asking your numerical “answer” a couple of other questions.  “What would it take to make this completely factual and accurate?”  “What would I have to admit to see this as an interpretation?”   A little curiosity goes a long way.
We all value the “truth” and we all live with “interpretation.”  So this isn’t about “absolutes.”  It’s just a matter of being honest with ourselves and accepting the possibility of distortion. 
The images I have for  the “truth” and “integrity” are the same.  It’s the image of a stone, cupped in the palm of one’s hand – entirely unbreakable and completely natural.   Integrity and truth are not free from distortion or assumption – and – they live as a complete whole; a fusion of mind and soul.  Only this personal fusion of mind and soul can accept the contradictory nature of accuracy and interpretation.    
Click here to see the stone image.

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