This is my Truth | Teen Ink

This is my Truth

October 2, 2010
By Michael Voss BRONZE, Jacksonville, Florida
Michael Voss BRONZE, Jacksonville, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

It is common sense that man is attracted to the realm of fiction; in fiction, everything must make sense, everything has a reason, and the author has a clear intent when he writes—the answer is already decided by the time the first word is written. Fantasy literature operates on the basis that it's wondrous world comes to life without any unanswered contradictions. Similarly, mystery novels as a rule dictate that all clues must be given to the reader before the end of the tale. In these kinds of tales a single solution lies.

With these rules come a sense of understanding and comfort. We are allowed to continue knowing that character motivations and other mysteries will be revealed 'with certainty'. Even if we do not think hard and just mindlessly read, the truth will become apparent.

Reality is not so kind.

In our universe, rules are broken without any reason. Ludicrous events happen that don't have a definitive result. What's worse is the fact the answers may never be revealed to us. We go our whole lives wondering, hoping, and maybe even dreading the finality of a action only to never see a result. In fiction, all loose ends would be tied up before it's all over. In reality, the ends only become harder to grasp.

I never waited until the end to look for finality. Growing up in a like minded small town, my peers already convinced me that an omniscient being has always been the cause of every event in the history of the world. I was content with that for awhile. If a being like that exists, then there is no point in wondering. All the answers have already been laid out; we are just too simple to notice them. Thinking like this was like being wrapped in a warm blanket.

But eventually I became hungry, and I had to shed that blanket. I began to question if this singular answer really covered everything that was, is, and will be. The first spark in my ride of enlightenment came the day I learned the the 'truth' about my old friend, Santa Clause.

It was an ordinary day. As much as I would like to say it was a dreary morning full of tragedies, or it was midnight and our clock started chiming, that would be just another lie added to that day. I just came home from school, and I saw my mom casually sitting on the couch, watching television. She looked almost peaceful before I made my presence known, stomping on the floor with such force I knocked my own show off my foot.

Mom gazed at me. Looking back on it, there was probably a lot of concern on that face, but I didn't notice it then. "What's wrong?"

A simple question, but my answer was in full force. I puffed my cheeks, took a deep breath, and spoke. "Mom! Me and my friends were talking at the lunch line and they said their parents told them Santa Clause isn't real. They're dumb, right?"

Mom hesitated. Even then I could see that. Still, I motioned for her to say something. After a few agonizing seconds, she did, "Santa is real in our hearts."

I didn't like this answer. I wanted her to confirm my 'truth'. "Okay, yeah, but what about the old fat guy who rides reindeer and delivers presents? Is he real?"

Mom frowned. Now we were both frowning at each other. It would have been a very awkward silence if it weren't for the television blaring in the background. I almost couldn't bare
the sad eyes my mother looked at me with.

"Do you want the truth?"

I could almost feel my heart try to commit suicide. A lump formed in my throat. It felt like all the air was being sucked out of the room. Was she sucking it out on purpose, so that I couldn't ask my question?

"Y-yes." I said. "The whole truth. Is Santa real?"


The rest of this story does not need to be told. The next words that came out of my mother's mouth should be obvious for anyone who has ever had this conversation. And that, for me, became the absolute truth from then on. The Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy had already been denied for me much sooner. One after one, everything that I once accepted as fact became piling garbage toppled over my flesh, and I had drowned in it. But I had no reason to sink anymore. I knew the 'truth'.

In this world, you can only believe what you see with your own eyes, Anything else can easily be a lie. It probably is. Assume nothing. Question everything. Never let a stone be unturned just because you think you know what's under it. I lived by these words from that time.

At that time, I was sure that only one answer existed, and that I once again found it. No omniscient being existed and magic was pure fiction. This was, for a long period of time, my truth. It wasn't until years later that my views even slightly drifted.

I was interested in the concept of 'truth' once again. A particularly heated argument on the topic of ghosts put the gears in my brain into overdrive. It was the internet that was my savior: particularly, the topic of Schrodinger's cat.

Schrodinger's cat is a thought experiment stating that it is possible for multiple truths to exist without contradiction. For example: say a cat is placed inside a box, along with a flask of radioactive poison. In this scenario, there is a possibility that the poison killed the cat—but at the same time there is a possibility of the reverse as well. To the outside world, both truths can exist at once, and neither are false. In reverse, you could say that both are true.

Is the cat in the box alive or dead? Of course, if you unsealed the box you would see one of two things: an alive cat or a dead cat. It would be impossible to see both at once. However, to the outside world, the cat truly was alive and dead simultaneously.

Our world isn't much different than that box. But unfortunately, our world doesn't have something as convenient as a lid to take off and see the answer. This way of thinking has made me believe that thinking of the world with just one truth is ignorant; many truths exist in this world. Until the box is opened, all of them can be true. Even Santa Clause.

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