The fallacy of “being right”

It seems so important sometimes: somebody has to be right. And, by extension, the rest of us are wrong.

You know by now that I’m going to tell you that this is a harmful load of hogwash. 🙂 But what I’m also going to tell you is that false thinking about “being right” is a prime source of tension and negative energy. And you don’t even have to believe that it’s you that is right for that to happen.

Right and wrong are always based on context. This may sound elementary, but we forget so often that we don’t always see the same context as others around us. And even when you realize this, don’t assume that one person’s context is more right than another’s. Context only has value when it is a shared context.

Are you starting to see a pattern here? Every time you could fight for “being right,” you should instead question where the other person is coming from. This is always a good perspective to have, even when you have no chance of reaching common ground with the other.

One of my friends says this: “when I get into a debate with somebody, even though I argue strongly for my point of view, I am looking to be proven wrong so that I can learn something.”

That is the whole point in a nutshell. My friend states her full case… but is always listening for the other side, because that is where she can learn. And, without being domineering, she herself is strong in her argument… so that the other person has the full opportunity to learn what she has to share. It doesn’t matter if one of them might be “right” so much as it matters whether they have learned from each other.

Learning is a process that never stops, that always develops and changes. Fighting to be seen as “right” is based on the thinking that what is right and correct is unchanging and everlasting. Reality is completely to the contrary; it is always changing, always shifting, always going in many different directions at once.

What is right at one moment may not be in the next moment. It can always change, sometimes extremely quickly – and no one is master. What a liberating thought! Isn’t that awesome?

This entry was posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Debate! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The fallacy of “being right”

  1. Pingback: Thought of the day: what is a fact, anyway? « Positive Juice

  2. Pingback: Why I am an atheist (and why you don’t have to be one) « Positive Juice

  3. Shamona says:

    Very awesome… And true. This post is the main reason for “a debate team”. Everyone gets their views heard and at the end of the day, you levae learning something new.

  4. Pingback: Things to remember when listening to somebody « Positive Juice

  5. Pingback: Thought of the day: what is a fact, anyway? « Positive Juice

  6. Pingback: Some things I’ve learned about recognizing, coping with, and fighting oppression and bigotry | Positive Juice


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