It’s True, I Swear

By Dann Reid


My 5 year old is smart. As her dad of course I say she’s smart. But, she is. She can visualize a lego toy in her head based on the picture and follow the directions perfectly. She’s has the ability to see completed that which is apart. That’s smart. Or something.

This same child does not have a sense of fluid dynamics or inertia. When she pushes the milk glass with the force at the top, it spills. I point out that she should push from the base and I am rejoined with a stern “I know!”

She has a cute habit of mispronouncing multi-syllable words. Interesting becomes in-stres-ting. It’s very cute and all too soon it will go away. She corrects us when, on the rare occasion we wish to remove these cute bits, that she knows she is right, that this word or that is pronounced as she has demonstrated.

She knows. For her it is true.

True. The hunter’s arrow flew true to the heart of the elk. The scorpion was true to its nature and stung the hiker. Her true love surprised her with a marriage proposal. We say these things are true and think little more about the word. What of true things which cannot be observed? Metaphysicians wrestle with big ideas and truth is a big idea. In Natural History of Intellect, Emerson writes that a student “must find what truth is.”[1]

How do we do this? Continue reading “It’s True, I Swear”