There are truths that are not for all men, nor for all times.


Voltaire, the renowned French writer and philosopher of the Enlightenment era, once remarked, “There are truths that are not for all men, nor for all times.” This profound statement encapsulates the idea that certain truths are not universally applicable or timeless. Instead, they are contingent upon specific contexts, perspectives, and historical moments. Voltaire’s insight refers to the nuanced nature of truth and the complexities of human understanding.

Furthermore, in a world where absolute truths are often sought after, this Voltaire’s quote invites us to think about relativism and acknowledge that truth is not always singular or fixed. Truth depends on context. Different individuals, societies, and cultures may perceive and interpret truths in distinct ways based on their unique experiences, belief systems, and cultural values, i.e., diverse perspectives enriches our understanding of the multifaceted nature of truth.

Truth, therefore, is dynamic, highly dynamic, especially across different epochs and periods in history. What may be considered true or relevant in one era may not hold the same significance or validity in another. As societies evolve, knowledge advances, and perspectives shift: truths that were once accepted may be challenged or revised. This fluidity underscores the importance of critical thinking and open-mindedness in navigating the complexities of truth. In turn, this means that truth is deeply linked to freedom.

Finally, we have to acknowledge the role of context in shaping our understanding of truth. Contextual factors such as cultural norms, political ideologies, and social dynamics can influence how truths are perceived and communicated. By taking into account the diversity of perspectives, contexts, and historical contingencies that shape our understanding of truth, we can cultivate a richer and inclusive approach to seeking knowledge and wisdom. Truth is always evolving, which highlights the importance of humility and open-mindedness in our pursuit of knowledge and innovation.

Three Gifts

A well respected landowner required the services of a woodcutter. Soon, a burly man volunteered for the job. The landowner explained that, in order to get approved to the job, any candidate should axe down, in a single day, a leafy and huge cedar that was in front of his house. Faced with the daunting task, the woodcutter replied: “For Gods, maybe. But I don’t believe this chore to be humanly possible, so I retreat.” A second woodcutter arrived asking for the job, but once he heard the condition, it seemed to him that the landowner had become crazy. Like this, many other woodcutters rejected the job. But one burning morning, other lumberer applied for the job. It seemed that the cedar was too large for his slight and somewhat dandified figure. The condition was the same, but this woodcutter’s response was: “Sure, Good Lord, I can chop down this tree, but I beg you the permission to start working not today, but tomorrow at dawn… that way, I’ll have enough time to open the trunks and put them to dry before the sun hides his face.” This response, firm and self-confident, convinced the landowner of this man’s suitability for working in his estate.

Cedar gifts

“The job is yours, but don’t dare touch a single leaf of this quaint tree with your axe… this is a lovely tree, whose shade gives shelter to my kids and peace to my family. You’ve passed the test.”

And so the years passed by, and the landowner never regretted of hiring the woodcutter. During all those years of strenuous work the woodcutter had not returned to his village, and had not seen his family. That’s why the landowner decided it was time for the woodcutter to rest and to return to his village. As a token of gratitude, a big farewell party was held for the woodcutter. It was a prize to the woodcutter’s fidelity and good performance. On that day, the woodcutter recalled many joyful things he had lived in the estate. His boss’ family presented him with a lot of objects and gold as gifts. He received plenty of gifts. Collected so many that he required one horse and two mules to carry his gifts. When he departed, he was accompanied to the outskirts of the estate by two pawns. They were talking about the best path that our woodcutter should take to reach his destination faster. The two pawns were of the view that the trail was the shortest path.

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