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Truth lies somewhere in the middle

[ 2010-09-01 17:30]     字号 [] [] []  
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Truth lies somewhere in the middle

Reader's question:  The rationale is that when you hear two parties at extreme ends on a given principle, we tend to think that "the truth lies somewhere in the middle." Is this really so? Let's consider a few points.

Could you explain “the truth lies somewhere in the middle”?

My comments:

When two people have an extremely different opinion on the same issue, you can be sure that neither party is totally right.

Or wrong.

What's most probable is that one party is right to a certain extent, while the other is correct on certain other points. In other words, "the truth is something in between" – you can't trust the words of one party. You'd better, instead, listen to both parties before finding a middle ground.

When, for example, two people quarrel with each other, both persons tend to give their side of the story – you know, how kind, generous and righteous they're and how mean, wrong and evil the other person is – while denying anything the other person has to say.

You, as an objective third party, and after listening to both parties, can readily reach a conclusion that neither person is absolutely right. Neither person is totally wrong, either. "The truth", instead, "is somewhere in the middle".

More often than not, where real-life quarrels are concerned, the real truth is that neither person is so kind, generous and righteous. Obviously, neither person is above quarrelling.

That much is certain.

Otherwise there'd have been no quarrel between the two in the first place.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.