Was it the best burger you ever had?
Is Chevy terrible when compared to Ford?
Does Marvel kick DC’s butt?
We humans are funny things. In wrestling with viewpoints and opinions we tend to be quite diametric in nature. We believe we can only be passionate, and only be right, if we polarize one viewpoint at the expense of another.
For truths, this is misguided at best. I like what Pastor Kirk Gilchrist says: Why do we Christians believe we have to promote either only the cross or only the resurrection to win? Why can’t we win by promoting both?
For errors, as CS Lewis so eloquently puts it, the enemy always introduces fallacy into the world in pairs. His hope is to get us to vehemently oppose the obvious one in order to gradually lure us into the more subtle of the two. As a Christian, should you be an individualist, concerning yourself with your own affairs and personal destiny, or should you be a totalitarian, ensuring that everyone arrives at the same conclusions, and therefore, the same benefits that you do?
As emotional humans, we also have a tendency to not believe our facts, stories or analyses are true unless they are the truest. That is to say, that they are the most exceptional, the most verbose points offered in a conversation. As such, we tend to pin on them something of the extravagant, when really just the simple facts would do. To make our point about a complaint, we say, “Because so many people are complaining too.” When really, only two people share the same complaint with us. Or, “It’s a mess everywhere!” When in actuality, it’s only a mess in one corner of the room.
I’ve had my own bout with both polarization and exaggeration, and as such, I’m more prone to perceive them in others. Most of it is birthed either out of insecurity, or someone’s propensity to lie. Neither are good, and neither are right. The truth of any matter can stand on its own two feet and doesn’t need my or your help to make it more right or sensational. The truth is the ultimate sensation.
If we can be less extreme and more accurate, we’ll be more qualified in telling the truest, fullest facts available to tell. And in turn, this makes us the most believable, because every word we say can be respected. We become truth-carriers.
In plain terms, our words, not just our actions, have the power to make us trustworthy.
Avoid the error-pairs; promote both sides of the truth; and temper your sensationalism.