Two men were sitting over coffee, contemplating the nature of things, with respect of their breakfast. “I wonder why it is that toast always falls on the buttered side,” said one. “Tell me,” replied his friend, “why you say such a thing. Look at this.” And he dropped his toast on the floor, where it landed on the dry side. “So, what have you to say for your theory now?” “What am I to say? You obviously buttered the wrong side.”
Everyone must have met such people in their life who feel as if they are always right! But why do things go wrong in their life if they are always right? Of course, the blame lies with someone in front!
Right and wrong is only perception. It varies from man to man. What you perceive is right for you but may not for others.
According to me, the interpretation of truth is a lifelong event. The person accumulates the bits of information he experiences and creates the picture of truth in what he believes. For example, after waking up in the morning, when the individual goes in front of the mirror, he already has a prior figure in mind what would just get reflected; he already has the feeling what his slippers would feel like wearing in his feet. The whole life is a mere reflection of his/her own version of truth. It is the portrait of his own belief system. These are the beliefs which develop out of conditioning, programming and subconscious adaptation of habits. Now, everything in confirmation to his belief system is truth and is right. Anything with contradictory opinion attracts the curse and blame.
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 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 babies?
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…
-Nithi : )