Sometimes we have to consciously decide whether we’d rather be right or be effective. Standing our ground on moral absolutes is all well and good – and sometimes the only acceptable choice if we’re to live with ourselves. But are there pathways to positive change that don’t require either the complete submission of our adversaries or sacrifice of our own foundational values?
Often our memories help us out by actually altering the facts recalled in order to better fit the experience we had, good or bad. Great moments get better, bad moments get worse, embarrassing experiences grow more extreme, and our stories evolve each time we tell them.
And sometimes we just lie. But even those can offer interesting insights, once pondered.
These strange, not-entirely-factual accounts often illuminate important aspects of key events, or of ourselves processing these events, which are lost in the mere facts. Of course we must correct the inaccuracies - but first, let's look at why they resonate in the first place. What can we learn from some of history's most persistent nonsense?