08 December 2011

Quote for today on learning from others

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. – Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He acquired the reputation of a philosopher king within his lifetime, and the title remained his after death.

As such, he is the source of many excellent quotes, many that are more profound than the above. Nevertheless, this is a good quote to remember. It is true enough for all aspects of life, but especially true when you're actively discussing self-reliance, preparedness, or survival-related topics.

To be sure, there are factual things to be discussed about such topics. For example, you can disinfect a gallon of water by adding 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach to it (as discussed on the EPA's website). That's fact.

Of course, there are other methods of disinfecting water, and even other ways of obtaining water to consume. That's where opinion and perspective comes into play. In discussing the situation, different people may feel that their solution is the right solution.

Odds are, they're right — at least for them. But, they may not be right for you. Maybe their approach involves a large rainwater harvesting system that virtually guarantees them a steady supply of water in their climate. But if you live in an area with more sporadic rainfall, you may need a different solution, like disinfecting groundwater. This seeming conflict doesn't make either person "wrong," nor does it invalidate either approach for supplying drinkable water.

In the end, others' techniques and opinions (even those of "experts") are not always going to be right or true for you. As you to listen to others, just remember to glean from them whatever you find useful or beneficial for your needs, and then set aside the rest.

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