We ‘know’ that there are ‘different strokes for different folks’ and yet we often struggle with the reality that the way I think or what I think is vastly different than someone else.
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Similar to acceptance, embracing differences is a specific contributor to feeling better about yourself and about the world in general. Embracing differences requires us to step out of our comfort zones, to ‘accept’ that our worldview is only one perspective.
We know this intellectually of course. We ‘know’ that there are ‘different strokes for different folks’ and yet we often struggle with the reality that the way I think or what I think is vastly different than someone else.
The solution, or the strategy for embracing differences is directly correlated to the concept of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. If we simply let go of the notion that what I think is ‘right’ – by definition, making the other ‘wrong’ – then we can see other forms of thought as merely different. The struggle comes with our belief that I may not be ‘good enough’ if I am not ‘right’.
In reality, there are perhaps dozens of ‘right’ viewpoints – all contextually unique. Consider the act of burping. The act of belching loudly while sitting around a dinner table would be regarded as quite rude in most of North American households, particularly if you were a guest or at a business function. However, in India – it is a demonstration of having enjoyed a good meal.
Instead of thinking of someone or something as being right or wrong as a general principle, explore the idea that it is simply different. This uncomplicated distinction eliminates a lot of judgment and unnecessary degradation. Over time, even the most extraordinary variations of our personal likes and dislikes can be appreciated as we…
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If you and I don’t think alike, that doesn’t make one of us right and the other wrong – it makes us different!
“Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open.” ~ Ralph Marston
I come from a long line of smart people who for one reason or another make it a habit of defending their point of view to the death. It is a habit I picked up early in life. I learned to debate and enjoyed the bantering with my father and brothers when the opportunity presented. I joined the debate club in school and excelled. It became a way of engaging that was familiar and comfortable. The whole point of a debate is to woo listeners to your point of view (POV) – based on facts and evidence of course. Often, the evidence presented is heavily weighted to justify the point of view you’ve taken, which – doesn’t necessarily make it ‘right’ but a solid perspective.
I was often accused of the offense of needing to be ‘right’ – of arguing my point until the listener acquiesced. In reality, I wasn’t concerned with whether or not my POV was ‘right’ only that it was defended well. If I had the ‘facts’ wrong – so be it. I’ve always enjoyed learning so if I had a chance to educate myself, I was better for it. Being right was never the objective – just persuasive. I suspect that’s what made me good in sales… another trait that is evident in my family.
The whole idea of right versus wrong is a human one… it is born of morality and therefore does not have a definitive origin or definition. The same is said of the words good and bad. We ascertain definitions of these four words via our culture, our religion, our feelings, our relationships, and interests to name a few of the origins. Therefore, from person to person, the parameters of what constitute those words can vary; and consequently… cause interpretation problems.
H and I went to see Rogue One today and during one of the intense fight scenes toward the end of the movie, I thought I saw Chewbacca in one of the fighters. It was a nanosecond shot and of course, I couldn’t rewind to make sure I saw it. Continue reading “The ‘Right’ Trap”