Suppose I were to show you a picture—a piece of art I describe as amazing or mind-blowing. You might say, “That’s nice Dan.” Yet, you could easily walk away questioning just why I wassoenthused. But, what if I told you that this piece of art was created on a typewriter by Paul Smith and that Paul, born in 1921, suffered from severe, spastic cerebral palsy which affected his speech, mobility and fine motor skills? What if I added that it took 16 years for him to learn how to speak and 32 years to walk and that as a child he was not taught how to read or write but found a way, beginning at the age of 11, to communicate through a simple typewriter? Now you realize why I find Paul’s art to be incredible and it makes sense to admire something typed by a man who defied the odds to live to the age of 85 and create hundreds of artistic pieces.
There is a major ingredient of truth that is often trashed today. It seems to have been discarded by our McQuick society as an unnecessary encumbrance. It is what we know as context. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth” has fallen victim to the sound bite. The tree has become more important than the forest.
Truth without context is like a car without rubber. It will roll temporarily on rims but not very far and with significant damage. Context is vitally important for two basic reasons: