Answer the question honestly before you read on…
There are two types of people in this world. The ones that think they are right and the ones that are.
The above is meant to be a joke but it has some truth to it. I can’t tell you how many lives, including my own, have been damaged by false beliefs. Beliefs that may have served them for a time, but not any more. Or simply beliefs that never served them well at all, but they cling to out of some fear of change or just not knowing anything different.
We live in a world that has a vast variety of people who have had an even vaster number of experiences. Everyone holds a certain amount of truth and many people are right about a lot of things. Yet, no one has a strangle hold on what is right all the time.
This subject has come up a lot for me recently. And I have found myself on both ends of the argument.
For instance, some people really feel the need to give me their opinions to make my life better. For all their good intentions they may still be wrong. And I have been that one that thinks he knows the right answer. And I have given my opinion to people with all the good intentions in the world. And yet they don’t receive them because they think I am wrong.
It is frustrating on both accounts…
So many questions pop up but they are all the same. Am I right? Are they right? Are both of us right or are we both wrong?
For the longest time I have accepted people’s opinions openly, and have even gone out of my way to ask for them. I have felt this to be the best course because I could draw on a large pool of experience and make the best decisions. Over time though I have slowly pulled away from that idea. Why? Because you do eventually find a situation where everyone is wrong!
There is still an opposite extreme to this as well and I think it is the deadlier one. It is thinking you are always right and never taking people’s advice to heart.
You see, most people are well meaning even when they are wrong. And many times they are right. They have solutions to your problems that you couldn’t ever come up with yourself. It is good to have many counselors, but it is bad to try and listen to them all.
Like many things the solution to the argument is the middle path. It is wise to avoid the extremes and to seek out the middle path.
It is not healthy to always think you are right. Just like it is unhealthy to always lean on people’s opinions and never make a true judgment on your own.
It is also unhealthy to be prejudiced against the source of the right advice. Have we not heard wisdom from the mouth of babes?
The real lesson and the task at hand is to discover how we can stand on our principle and moral values yet remain open to possible ideas that may help solve our problems and live better lives.
I have no easy solution but I do know we get better with practice and over time. I would encourage each of you to think more deeply on this and give me your thoughts in the comment section. I am interested to know…