Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Don't Wanna be Right

The other day I met a person that I almost instantly disliked. He was arrogant, self-confident and self-assured. But the worst thing about him was that he was right. O, he was not right in the conventional sense. It was not a matter of having the right ideas, beliefs or opinions. His rightness was not even based on the conservative nature of his political opinions. He was right because he "knew" he was right.

This is a great problem in America today. There are way too many people who have traded truth and justice for being right. In fact, there are millions of people who are so right that they do not even need to consider the opinions or thoughts of others. They can not possibly improve their position by listening to anyone else. (I hope that you can hear the sarcasm in my writing.)

These people who are right- you know some of them (maybe you)- are characterized by a few common traits.
  • Because they are right, they cannot imagine an alternative. They can easily become offended or agitated at the suggestion that there might be other options. There is no need for discussion, negotiation or compromise. I am right, after all. And anyone who does not agree with me is necessarily wrong and has nothing of value to add to the conversation.
  • Because they are right, they can feel superior to others. And why not? If I am right I am superior. Why should I even pay attention to anyone else?
  • Because they are right, they become offended and/ or angry with anyone who disagrees. Just like a child on the playground who had the ball first, if I am right you should not even try to convince me, or anyone else, otherwise.
Let me tell you a secret: I am not right very often. I mess up all the time. I spout off and have to eat my words. I pray regularly that God would show me his ways and lead me away from my own interests. It is amazing how often my thoughts and God's are in opposition to one another.

Celebrate the truth when you are right. But be careful because tomorrow you might wake up to find that you are an obnoxious, opinionated, self-righteous dope. Don't let this ugly thing happen to you.

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