OK, so here's a family story I woke up thinking about, for some reason…
Shortly after my beloved grandmother died, her three adult children gathered in her kitchen once more. This would be my father, my aunt and my uncle.
They started reminiscing, and my uncle, the youngest, said, "Remember how mom always used to take a tiny sip of our milk before she handed it to us, just to make sure it hadn't gone bad? I always thought that was so sweet and loving of her."
My dad's eyebrows flew up. "She wasn't tasting the milk to see if it had gone bad!" he corrected. "It's just that Mom had terrible eye-hand coordination, and she always overfilled the glass. She was taking the sip so she wouldn't spill the milk as she walked over to the table from the fridge. It used to drive me crazy — why couldn't she ever pour the right amount of milk on the first try?"
My aunt jumped in: "You're both wrong! She was stealing my damn milk!"
This sort of thing is why I find reality very hard to grasp. (It's also why I love my family.)
We all inhabit our own planets, people. Everyone invents their own world history. Good luck trying to reconcile any of it for a universal truth.
Which is why sometimes when I've given up on trying to see things clearly, I just try really hard to see things generously.