Here is another conversation between Poirot and his friend Hastings.
“Mon ami—you know my suspicious nature! I believe nothing that any one says unless it can be confirmed or corroborated.”
“That’s right, old boy,” I said affectionately. “A thoroughly nice, trustful nature.”
“‘He says,’ ‘she says,’ ‘they say.’ Bah! what does that mean? Nothing at all. It may be absolute truth. It may be useful falsehood. Me, I deal only with facts.“
from Poirot Loses a Client
This is a fitting excerpt for today, given that I recently had a falling out with a old friend. In our quarrel, we had a lot of “you saids” and “you dids.” But how much of it was fact? I wonder. Feelings have a way of blinding us to the truth, and our memories tend to get twisted in our own favor. The voice dissipates, the exact words of a conversation fade away, and all that is left, if even so much, is a memory of the gist of what was heard. Only very rarely do we remember exactly the words that were spoken, and never do we get to hear the speaker’s true thoughts and motivations.
How I wish we could just deal with facts!