Written by Jim Stovall
To date, I have written over 40 books. Approximately half of them are fiction and half are non-fiction. I’ve heard it said, “All autobiographies are fiction, and all fiction are autobiographies.” As I have continued to examine this thought, I believe it to be correct.
When I write novels or movie scripts, they invariably come out of experiences I have had in my own life. While I may change the time, place, or people involved, I draw upon experiences I have had in the past. On the other hand, when I, or any other author, writes non-fiction, our best efforts to deliver facts, statistics, and reality are colored by our own perspective. It is vital for us to remember that whether we’re in an educational setting, reviewing the news of the day, or conversing with a friend, the information we are receiving is filtered through the source. Even indisputable facts can vary as one individual may think a specific detail is critical so they highlight it while another individual overlooks that same fact believing it to be insignificant.
My late, great friend and colleague Paul Harvey was one of the most trusted voices for news here in America for several decades. His broadcast was called Paul Harvey News and Comment. While he endeavored to always separate the news of the day from his own opinions, he explained to me that simply by determining which stories to include in his newscast or which item he would present as the lead story, he was inevitably imposing his thoughts and opinions on his audience.
Today there are so many sources from which we can receive information or news, it is vital that we evaluate not only what was said but who said it and why they might hold that perspective.
As a blind person myself, I’ve often thought of the old fable of the three blind men touching an elephant. The man who felt the elephant’s leg thought it was a tree while the man holding the elephant’s trunk thought it was a thick rope, but the blind man feeling the side of the elephant thought it was a wall. All three men were giving their perspective of the same elephant at the same moment, but their individual perspectives totally alter their thoughts and ideas.
We tend to want to think of facts as true and universal. In reality, they are constantly changing and must be evaluated based on the eye of the beholder.
As you go through your day today, separate facts from fiction, but always look for the underlying truth.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.