21 Dragons

In Search of Wisdom

Understanding is a 3-Edged Sword

When I was growing up, I loved the science fiction TV show Babylon 5. It had an epic story arc, intriguing characters and cool spaceships. It also had some interesting ideas, one of which was an alien proverb: “Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth.” When I was growing up, I liked to see things in black and white. It made things easier to understand. I'm right, you're wrong. It made life easier to go through, judging easier, justifications smoother.

Now that I'm older, I see that there are more shades of gray in the world than pure hues of black or white. That sometimes there are no completely right or wrong sides – you just have to pick a side and face the consequences.

Another saying, Japanese this time not extraterrestrial, goes: "Hell gapes beneath the upraised sword... Step in! And Heaven is your reward!"