March 7, 2012
Just had the thought that the need to be ‘right’ may be the death of just about everything that is truly satisfying, at least for me. The thought came to me because i glanced at a post-it that’s been stuck to the side of my computer for years. This is the first time I’ve really looked at it in ages. It’s a Socrates quote. “When you know you don’t have wisdom, that you don’t have the answer, is when you can learn, and not before.” I don’t know if I copied it exactly or if I’ve paraphrased, so feel free to correct me if I’m misquoting. But you get the gist.
Anybody have thoughts on this? Seriously, I’m sitting here trying to think of one time when my need to be right, or to be an expert, was helpful. We’re not talking about being accurate, or thorough or authentic here. You know what I mean. We’re talking about that thing that comes from somewhere deep inside and takes over, wiping out reason and compassion. It’s when being right becomes more important than being kind, or thoughtful, or even honest, if i want to get really bone deep truthful about my experience with it.
So for me the question becomes, will the next thing that comes out of my mouth, or my pen, or my keyboard, get me closer to what I want, or further away. Because in my experience being right has seldom brought me anything beyond a little self-righteous indignation that doesn’t seem to carry me very far.