One of my favorite books of all time is titled,”Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” by James Loewen.
I loved history in high school. I had enthusiastic and interesting teachers. It helped that I love to read and my interests cross a wide spectrum of people, places, and things. By now, we all know the historical narrative of our fine country. Basically, Americans arrived in America, took over, and ever since we’ve been the greatest nation in the history of the world.
When I read “Lies”, I was blown away. It challenged everything that I thought I knew about American history. But I learned an important lesson: many of the things that I know for sure, I really don’t know at all. And, even worse, the story is often much more complex and distant than what I thought.
It is both scary and empowering to come face-to-face with the myths that guide your life. It’s scary because, well, what other lies have I been told? And, even worse, what lies have I believed because they were convenient and comfortable? Too often, I find that what “I know” is really what I “think” I know.
But facing the truth can give you strength as well. You start thinking for yourself, for one. You “see” things that you never noticed before. You challenge the story and the news and the tv and you become a critical thinker. When you dig a little deeper, you are forced to challenge your beliefs and the way things are. I know that I’ve become a better person for it.
Today, I am going to challenge you to find at least one thing in your world that isn’t what you thought it was. At first, I think you’ll find this to be rather daunting. That’s the whole point. Just when you think something is for sure, you find out that it isn’t. Challenge yourself to discover the “lie” that you you’ve been telling yourself for some time now. Even better, find out the “lie” that others have been telling you and you’ve bought into.
You’ll be amazed at the power the truth can bring.