Two sides to every story

14 February 2016

I was reading earlier today (a rare treat for me) and I stumbled across a website called Little Things Matter when I was researching. Way back in 2010, there is a blog on the site which refers to Paul Harvey (famed radio broadcaster) who shared “The Rest of the Story with millions of Americans … After presenting news stories on a variety of factual subjects, he surprised listeners each time with a true ‘twist’ at the very end”. He then concluded and signed off with, “And now you know… the rest of the story“.

Reading this blog from six years ago, it struck a chord with me. Over the years, I am sure we can all think of situations where we have been somewhat ‘stuck in the middle‘, unsure which side of the story is actually the truth. Whether it is someone complaining about a friend, colleague, spouse, etc. or an article in a magazine, newspaper or on the television or internet on a particular subject, people express their own opinions. For example, the Republican candidates for US President are trading sharp blows over several agenda items from foreign policy to the future of the Supreme Court in their debates at the moment. They are (of course) entitled to their own opinions but that is exactly what they are. Opinions.

Even if the discussion is about an event which has actually occurred in history (whether recent or long distant past), people will have varying memories of how it played out and who said what. They will most likely have their own perspective on ‘why’ as well! It is best to remember, in my opinion, that there are always (at least) two sides to every story. Just because someone tells you one thing, doesn’t make it the true version.

If you have judged before hearing both sides, shame on you! Do you accept anything in your genealogical research without fully researching whether your conclusion is correct? I sincerely hope not! The same should be true in life as well.

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