By Adam J. Pearson
Words that flow out of experience carry the weight of truth and kindle with the shining light of authenticity. Speculation is thinking without evidence or experience. Words that drift out of speculation feel as light as a feather and as dull as a fireplace that has burned out. They lack the fire of truth, and their darkness lends them no energy, no potency of meaning. They lack the fuel of reality to propel them with force into the hearts and minds of those who hunger for the truth.
Speculative words lack the weight of truth because they are spoken from an inner space of uncertainty; they might be true or they might not. Speakers of speculation don’t know whether their speculations are true or not because the ways of knowing are evidence and experience and speculation lacks both.
Knowledge, as most philosophers agree, is justified true belief. Evidence and experience provide the justification; correspondence with reality provides the truth. The experience of reality lights a fire of passionate knowing within the mind that no one can extinguish because its burning roots in experience provide the fuel that makes it shine. Speculation can only endarken because it flows from the darkness of not knowing, but experience and evidence enliven words of truth with the power to enlighten.
What does your experience say? What does your evidence say? Whatever that may be here and now, that’s an interesting, valuable, and important treasure of unspeakable worth that you carry inside of you. That’s your burning truth and it’s also fascinating material to share in conversation. It’s what we can learn from and what you have learned; when you share it, you give us a true gift and you give yourself the gift of speaking authentically, which is itself an act of courage. We all yearn to hear each other’s deepest truth. Everyone wants you to give them the permission to be real with you. When you’re real with them, you give them that permission. Your authenticity gives them the green light to share their own instead of cowering behind the masks of personas and “what we think we should say.”
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “speak what today thinks in words as hard as cannonballs.” There’s no need to hold back in timidity from sharing the full force of your truth, the full plenitude of the harvest you’ve reaped from the fields of your experience. Unleash it on the world boldly and authentically and see what fires you light in tired eyes that have become jaded by banal conversation of weather and celebrities. We tire of the boring superficiality of small talk; it exhausts us all. We want your big talk, your inner truth, the brilliance enflamed by your experience. We want you to let your passion out and blaze a trail of your truth for us like a scintillating meteor through the night sky.
Just as an experiment, just as a playful game, I invite you to speak the truth that your experience and evidence reveal within you. Try it and see. See how your aliveness lights up those around you and gives them the courage to proclaim their own truth in fireworks as boldly bursting as your own. You’re the light of inspiration; it’s not something you get, it’s something you are. It’s you. And the fruits of your experience, the truths of your life, are the ways that inspiration shines in you; your brilliance is truly unique and one of a kind and no one can share what you can share or offer what you offer. The ability to respectfully, but authentically, proclaim your understanding is a power that blazes in you like an inner sun in the solar system of a mind hidden from the world. The world awaits your burning truth; speak it and set fire to the world.