Light Notes: Let our legacy of beauty, goodness and truth be self-evident

Timothy J. Ledbetter, Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) on

Published in Religious News

While my article is not an epistemological treatise, I am thinking about any number of self-evident aspects of our common sentient experiences, especially beauty, goodness and truth.

The deep grandeur of upper Lake Chelan or our many coulees, the glory of seasonal colors in gardens, parks or mountains, the awesome power of ocean waves crashing on a rocky Oregon shore, the glowing transitions at dawn and dusk — these are natural examples of self-evident beauty.

There is also self-evident goodness including acts of kindness that may or may not make the news, affirming words that plant seeds of hope, aspirations toward justice and peace, and applications of knowledge and creativity that make a positive, productive difference.

But is there self-evident truth (“the property of being in accord with fact or reality," according to Wikipedia)? Which facts and whose reality? Is there common truth, or is all truth conditioned by experience, context, and history?

If something seems true for me, MUST it be true for you?


Many will cite sacred scriptures or philosophical documents as their ground of truth, often followed by differing interpretations, diverging applications and profound mistrust.

Our path forward: constructive discourse or destructive conflict?

Perhaps what is self-evident is that we all have more work to do in manifesting Beauty, Goodness and Truth. Let’s keep at it.

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