I’m sure we can all agree that we have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of issues as a human race.
I don’t want to say “being right” is our core issue. But I do think it’s a big hindrance to allowing progress on our collective issues as a society.
But why is “being right” so wrong?
It’s not wrong actually, but the issue is how much emphasis and priority we’ve posed on it.
We prefer to be right than to be happy. We prefer to be right than to be at peace. We prefer to be right than to get along. We prefer to be right than to make a difference. We prefer to be right than be helpful.
Here’s a short list of some topics we feel strongly about that we feel we have to defend, share, circulate, and prove:
- Raising kids
- How the universe was created
- Who/What is god
- Food Health
- Whether a person is good or bad
- Is there heaven and hell
- Morality of certain behaviors
- Spouse disagreements
- What really happened
- Justification of what you or they or someone did or said
In small ways and big ways, we prefer our Badge of Rightness than anything else.
Don’t believe me?
Think about the last time you argued with someone who viewed something differently than you (in person or online). If you prioritized happy than to be right, would you have even gotten into it?
I’m bringing this up from a state of self awareness (I’ve done this!) not self righteousness. That would be ironic.
For example, before I prioritized happiness in my marriage, I was prioritizing my “rightness”. And yeah, I was unhappy and ready for a divorce, but I knew I was right in my beliefs and justified about my expectations. And somehow fighting for that was what I thought was right, and getting others and even my husband to agree with me was satisfying, but at the end of the day I was super miserable.
Luckily, I’ve come to my senses, and I’m thrilled. The funny thing is that in the process of prioritizing harmony, happiness, and fun in my marriage, I never let go of my values or standards. I just didn’t care to be right before being loving. This changed the whole dynamics of my relationship and I’m the better for it.
All that to say, I know it feels good to be right, but it’s going to feel even better to love.
So where did this all start?
Our society instills the importance of being right at a very young age.
First, it starts with the right answer. But it ends up going way past multiple choice tests and into the fabric of everything we do, who we hang out with, and how we identify ourselves.
We emphasize in words and by example to our small children that you must be right. And not only right, but correct. And not only correct, but eloquent in your explanation. And not only eloquent, you should make a fool of those who think otherwise. And not only should you make a fool, you should recruit others to believe like you. And not only should you recruit, you should hold rally’s. And don’t just hold rally’s, you shall argue, fight, and maybe even kill for your idea is right.
Am I exaggerating?
How many wars have started because of disagreements?
How many people have killed or been killed for their religious beliefs?
When is this not the case when you’re watching the news or scrolling through social media?
Everyone is hyper focused on being right, correcting others, or straight up debating their rightness on an issue.
When did being right become the central focus of our way of living?
When did being right become so glorified?
Why did we accept this as one of our greatest values as a society?
Let’s consider some alternative realities.
What if we’re all right?
What if we’re all wrong?
What if things aren’t as black and white as we think?
Let’s just imagine…
If no one cared to be right.
If being right was low on the things that mattered in the world.
If being right didn’t give any recognition, pride, acknowledgement, or satisfaction.
If being right didn’t matter, then maybe we would start to ask new questions, like:
- How do I feel?
- How do I make others feel?
- Am I loving as much as I can or am I withholding love?
- In what ways is my playing too small a disservice to my community and the world?
- How can I give back to the earth more than I have taken from it?
- Is there anyone I can help right now?
We’ve lost our common sense with this focus on being right. Who the hell cares, really?
If at the end of your life, all you get is “She was right!” Or “He was right!” on your tombstone. Would you be happy with that?
Don’t you want to make a difference? Don’t you want to love and be loved? Don’t you want to build bridges and break barriers? Don’t you want to make the impossible possible? Don’t you want to surprise yourself and others? Don’t you want to set up the next generation for a plentiful, abundant, healthy earth and peaceful societies living within it? Don’t you want to have a breakthrough? Don’t you want to expand your understanding, your awareness, your experience in this life? Don’t you want to keep learning and discovering new things? Don’t you want to know what bliss and joy feels like? Don’t you want to be part of the solution?
We have bigger fish to fry here people!
We don’t have time to figure out who is right.
We gotta start living and start loving.
We have to start using our common sense because the children, the earth, and the stars are all watching us in anticipation.
Sometimes when I’m looking at a social problem, I wonder if an alien were to join the task force to help better understand and resolve the problem, what would they say or think about it?
The alien having no sort of connection to a race, a religion, a country, a class, or other biases, what would they recommend?
Then, I think about aliens looking at our entire human society on earth without understanding any of our cultural nuances, the money system, or the way we’ve divided ourselves up geographically, racially, religiously, etc.
What would they see?
- We have groups throwing away food while others starve to death.
- We have some people in cages.
- We are destroying the ecosystem (land/air/plants/etc.) which we depend on to live.
- We murder each other.
- We consume poison in various ways.
- We disagree a lot. But we don’t do anything unless we all agree (unless it’s war).
- We build self-destructing machines.
- We invest heavily on war.
I could go on but you get the picture.
It’s sad that we’ve accepted destruction, hate, and irreverence as normal. Sad that we’ve accepted a society that consciously allows members of its group to die or suffer from avoidable circumstances.
It’s sad that we’re numb to it all, too.
It’s like we’re living in an insane asylum and trying to normalize it when it was simply other humans (like us) who shaped it this way.
We have the power to choose differently, think differently, and behave differently.
Because when we know better, we do better. Like Maya Angelo said.
I know each and every one of you believe in your heart that if everyone believed just like you, the world would be better.
So I’m not saying not to continue to believe you have the right ideas, all I’m asking is to put aside the priority on emphasizing the rightness of it and the trying to convince others the same.
Might be a crazy idea, but I think we can find common ground. Actually, even if we don’t find common ground, I think we can make huge progress as a society despite differing beliefs.
We are awakening as a generation (I mean generation as in all those living now although I do believe the youngest of us are usually the ones teaching us the way forward).
This is a pivotal moment in our history as a human race. What we choose next will lead us to either reinvent everything we know and how we live or to self-destruct.
I don’t think it’s a matter of belief whether our current path is sustainable. It’s evidently not going to last long like this.
We see the shift in consciousness all around us. The problem is that many of us don’t think we have a role to play.
I guarantee that each of you has an impact 10X greater (at least) than what you think. And it starts with asking yourself new questions everyday like the ones I posed above.
But you’ll have more questions. And you must explore them.
Otherwise, society will dictate what you should prioritize and value. And do those values even make sense to you? Does it really matter to you to prove you are right?
Your heart might be yearning for different questions and answers than those being posed, and instead of asking, “Am I right?”, you’ll know you’re all right just because you’re following your heart.
So don’t worry about being right. Don’t worry about convincing others.
Seek to love, to share, to embrace, to accept, to understand, to give compassion.
Maybe some day we won’t care who was right and had all the evidence and the proof. Maybe some day we’ll say things like, “She looked to understand most deeply” or “He loved grandly and showed compassion most generously” without any regard to the rightness of their ideas because it won’t actually matter.
We really don’t have time to convince each other about who is right. We only have time to change ourselves in this moment and decide what we want to value now.
I hope you will choose consciously and from your heart.
2 Replies to “For the Sake of Our Future as a Human Race: Let Go of Being Right”
This made me introspect a lot of things. Beautifully written.