Last night in Australia, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was interviewed on television for the first time since leaving office over a year earlier following a vitriolic leadership spill in her party. Ms Gillard has maintained a dignified silence since then and has now released an autobiography, titled ‘My Story’.
Early on in the interview she was asked if her book contained the whole truth or simply her version of events. I found this question quite amusing, and I’m guessing Ms Gillard might have as well based on her response: “It’s my truth. Of course I had to make selections about what should go in and what shouldn’t go in… It’s my truth; it’s unashamedly through my eyes”.
To me, Julia’s response perfectly captures the definition of ‘truth’. Have you ever heard that one about there being three sides to every story; yours, theirs and the truth? We tend to judge others on what they say and do (their behaviours) whilst we judge ourselves on our intentions. Your story is your story; it’s how you perceive things to be based on your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Imagine how different the world would be if we knew one another’s true feelings and intentions?
Regardless, accepting that your version of events is simply your version, rather than deeming it to be the whole truth, is an extremely mature way to approach life. When we acknowledge that what we perceive is in fact only our own reality, we open the door for kindness and compassion towards others with different views. After all, isn’t that what true acceptance is all about?