Thought Tuesday

Being Right is Overrated

“I don’t care what the critics say.  I’m right and they’re wrong.”

Nearly everyone to ever live on this planet wants to be right.  I blame ego.  Often, it doesn’t matter if someone gets hurt in the name of being right.

I have to admit.  I am getting weary of all the news reporting wars, rumors of wars, selfishness, and bickering.  How many wars are waged in the name of God, or just because someone feels they are right and their adversary is wrong?  Seriously, I believe most human destruction is caused by man’s insistent need to be right… all the time.

It doesn’t seem to matter what the subject is, there seems to be no limit when it comes to being right.  It is rare to “agree to disagree”.  It is more common to see no opinion or idea is of any worth unless it matches “mine.”  It’s to the point of ridiculous!

Being right is over rated!

My mom tells a story of commenting to to my little sister that the sunrise was beautiful.  When my sister disagreed (or maybe didn’t even say anything at all – I wasn’t there so I may be remembering the story wrong), my mom started to drive toward the sun rise into the country.  She said she would continue to drive until my sister said the sunrise was beautiful.  This went on until my sister’s friend was a sobbing mess begging my sister to say it was beautiful so that they were both not late to school.

I have my own issues with being right.  It is something I am working on.  Here is why.

I have learned that being right comes with a price.  When I insist on being right I often find myself alone – isolating myself from my friend or my family.  I have noticed that reasonable conversations cannot take place when opinions are held on to so tightly that it seems to strangle conversation.  People turn cold. The desire to be right becomes a crusade, a battle.

Even when people are suffering, people don’t seem to notice the negative effect their crusade is having on them or the people around them emotionally, physically, and intellectually.  Why do people forget that people are more than the thoughts they are projecting?

People are people and we all come to the table with different life lessons, experiences and baggage.  We need to all learn to play nice!

I have also noticed that the need to be right does not respect the agency and individuality of others.

Would it really be that hard to show respect?

I am glad God made us all different. I am glad that each of has been given the gift to choose for ourselves. Mutual respect is a given… give the benefit of the doubt to others… stop assuming people are trying to hurt you specifically and on purpose. Seriously, when someone can’t let go of the need to be right, they become rigid and fixed in their ways and “stiff-necked”.  This conditions stops progression.  This leads to a lack of learning, a lack of community, a lack of peace.

Needing to be right destroys agency; it destroys possibilities and alternatives.  Rigid ideas keep people from evolving, growing and improving.  They cannot, no, will not, see the future.  Life stands still.  They are stuck. The need to be right also kills curiosity. People no longer listen… listen to hear and listen to learn. It is sad.  In the end, no possibility exists; no validation will ever interest a person who has to be right.  How do we learn if not from and through others?  How do we see possibility without the ideas of others?  How then can we truly choose?

Being right often confuses fact and truth.  We are left to question, whose truth? Whose fact? Which is more right? Is one person’s truth another person’s fiction?  Sometimes I can’t figure it out.  That is why I avoid the news.  The confrontation is overwhelming.

However, the news often takes over.  I am noticing a trend.  Needing to be right is leading many to self-destruction.

Insisting on being right leads to self-righteousness-loner-know-it-alls. These people are often accused of not being a team player.  It may have said on their report card that they “do not work well or play well with others.”  Self-destruction happens as we loose touch with others, as we loose love for our neighbors, and as we continue to beat the drum that we are right and “they” are wrong.

I am slowly learning that is takes too much energy to be right all the time.  Sometimes it is ok to be wrong.  Sometimes it is ok to say I’m sorry.  Sometimes it is ok to say thank you for teaching me something new.

When I stop and listen, when I  let go of the need to be right, I notice things differently.  I start to accept change.  I see that change is good.  I feel happier.  I feel more connected.  I find new possibilities.  I find deeper meaning.  My life is more full.

Just admit it… I’m right.


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