A truth mirror shattered out of conflict


Hannah Smith

A representation of “The shattered mirror of truth”, a story narrated by Scott Reed.

The decades of complex conflict between Iran in the United States is exceedingly difficult to comprehend, and it appears that several of us are quick to make judgments and assert opinions on the absolute “truth”.

AHS history teacher, Scott Reed, teaches philosophy and ethics, modern world history, and IB history. He gives a unique view of how the American media provides us with information and facts about the conflict between Iran and the United States but does not reveal the whole picture.

“Everybody has a narrative, but there is a perspective, and you just kind of have to collect a vast array of perspectives to get some truth,” Reed remarked.

Reed compared the current complexities of the situation in a metaphorical story illustrating that we will only find parts of the truth unless we seek to view the whole thing. According to this story told by Reed, several gods argue about whether a mirror of truth should be shared with Earthly humans. During this argument, the mirror is dropped onto the earth, and the mirror shatters leaving several broken fragments. The shattered pieces are split up among groups of people, and each group believes their broken fragment to be the absolute truth. These groups of people end up going to war over who’s fragment is the real truth. During this war, none of these clashing groups come to realize that all of their broken fragments piece together to represent the complete truth.

The story that Reed portrayed sheds light on the vitality to knowing several perspectives of a story, or in the case with America and Iran, perspectives of a conflict between countries. In the American media, the portrait of American involvement is more often highlighted than the perspective of an Iranian, whose perspective is often discluded. This leaves out a perspective of the conflict as a whole.

This topic has such complexity that giving the perspective of an Iranian comes with risks for the interviewee, as well as their family. A few people of Iranian lineage declined to interview over this subject, because of these risks, and the overall complexity of the topic. However, one person agreed to do an interview with their name kept anonymous. This is to maintain mindfulness of the safety of the interviewee and their family members, for there are Islamic factions that instill fear within many people.

This anonymous source, who is of Iranian descent, expresses how Persians living outside of Iran really feel about the conflicts between Iran and the United States.

“What every Persian living outside of the country worries about, however, is the danger that some corrupt US administrations, who do not have the best interest of the country’s people in mind, but can be bribed by wealth and luxury, will agree to supplant one terrible religious order, for another,” the interviewee remarked.

The United States shares many similarities to the story of the shattered truth mirror, as Americans do not always know the whole truth. The bias within the media is inevitable, either from limited information, specific political agendas, or even pitching a story in a way that makes a better profit. However, taking that additional step to educate on another side of a conflict may not be commonly done, but it is possible.

“It would be wonderful if all involved: government officials, media, and viewers, had the inclination and time to invest in educating themselves about the region. Unfortunately, that is not a realistic goal. We can only hope that the officials in the State Department are educated about the region and will exercise the prudence and wisdom so lacking in this administration,” the interviewee said.

Taking that extra step to be educated on the other perspectives of a complex topic will better your overall knowledge. Not only that, but that initiative will also get you one step further to piecing that truth mirror back together so that you can peer into it, and see the whole reflection.

According to English writer Robert Burton, “Truth is the shattered mirror strewn in myriad bits; while each beliefs his little bit the whole to own.”