How often do you need to be right? We often go to great lengths to prove our point, show evidence of why we are right, and ensure that the other person understands that they were wrong. We make sure to correct things – maybe even telling ourselves that we are being helpful.
Is it really beneficial to ensure that your partner knows that your way home is, in fact, the shortest and fasted route? Does it help to pull it up on google maps to show the comparison? Does it help to sigh and roll your eyes when he/she takes their preferred route home?
How many things in our lives do we do this about? Perhaps you make sure that someone at work knows the right way to do something. Perhaps you have that relative or friend that you always get into to “friendly” debates about religion, politics, abortion, gay marriage, or some other hot topic. You argue your point endlessly – both parties sure that they are the right one. Perhaps you say to yourself, “I just don’t understand how Bob could think that way. Doesn’t he see the points that I am making and how right they obviously are?” Did it ever dawn on you that Bob is saying those exact same things about you?
What do we get out of being right? Why do we really do it? What would be the worst thing that would happen if we chose to surrender our rigidity in our beliefs? Would it kill you to let the other person think they had won? Would it piss you off that the other person is still going around thinking they are right? Would it feel threatening for people to see you surrender?
When we so rigidly defend ourselves and our beliefs, we are feeding the ego. We are feeding our ego and theirs. We are strengthening the separation and need for specialness. If we can be gracious and let it go, we are weakening the power the ego plays in our lives. We can choose another way to live that is much more peaceful.
This does not mean that you think about your “right” opinion, choose not to voice it, and then gloat internally (or later to a friend) that you are the bigger person who chose not to engage in the act of being right. That just means you are still attached to the idea. You have to completely let it go and value the peace of not engaging in ego’s discord.
Releasing your attachment to your opinions and beliefs is a two-step process. First, you must recognize that there is no way that you can know, without a doubt, that you are right. You cannot see the whole truth from your perspective. Furthermore, if you are equal with all other humans (I believe we are all one) and both people are certain they are right yet have apposing opinions, logic would say that one must be wrong. However, if we are of the same mind and we can’t have opposing ideas that are right then both must be wrong. Both are wrong because in that moment because both are identified with the ego rather than with spirit.
Second, you must learn to listen. Really listen – without judgment, attachment to your opinion, or determination to be right. If you really listen from your heart without ego’s opinions, you will find that you can completely empathize with the other person. Then you can see them for who they are and really feel their emotions. When you listen from this space you will realize that everything anyone says is completely true because it is completely true for them.
What would happen if you started to affirm people’s experience? What would happen if you allowed yourself to be completely vulnerable and listen as though you are a part of the person you are talking to? What would happen if you chose to honor the soul in each person rather than just argue with their ego? What would happen if you demonstrated a way to live with peace through non-attachment to ego’s antics? Is it possible that you could create a ripple to change the world?