Being wrong. It happens to us all. At times we will argue or fight to the bitter end to support or insist upon our belief. Sometimes we're wrong.
Having grown up in a time where Google was not available whenever a fact needed checked to settle a debate, I remember this kind of occasion well... You would be discussing a movie, or book, or theory and someone would disagree with something you believe to be fact. You insist you are right, they insist they are right. There is no resolution so you're in a stand off between your memory and theirs. I'm sure you've come across this in some form. Either or both sides can become very heated when disagreeing, this is common.
Today we have cell phones which can settle such debates in a few seconds. So the debates have become a little different. Concepts and ideas are argued in the same way in place of facts or details. Or, sources of facts and details fall under debate. Regardless, debates, arguments or whatever you'd like to call it are common when having discussions or stating opinions.
Other times, the debate is bigger than these examples, and are more internal. Sometimes, something someone says, or something you read or experience, can challenge your beliefs. You can be just as sure. You can be just as wrong.
There you are expecting something to happen. You've told everyone it will. But... Then it doesn't. You were wrong.
You believe this or that, and then someone comes along and lays out an argument for why you may be wrong. They may be right. This happens as none of us are perfect and NO ONE knows everything.
Choices, always choices.
Do you become heated, defensive, angry and counter? This is the most common.
Perhaps we should try grace. Listening, honestly. Observing, carefully. Understanding that we have already attached emotions or feelings to our beliefs currently held, and these emotions or feelings can distort the signals of different information. Different, or new to you, but not different or new to the world as a whole.
As that feeling rises and causes an urge to reject the information or ideas and project the feelings of rejection onto the one speaking, pause and observe. Truly and honestly listen. If not for the possibility that you may be wrong then out of simple respect for the being speaking to you, or presenting, or receiving the information or ideas.
Another tendency that exceeds beyond our selves is to try and persuade others not to bother looking into something you have decided does not apply or have value. Who made you the thought police? Is doing this not the exact same thing our "controllers" would do to us? Can you be sure you're always right? If not, how do you feel you have the right to tell others what is valid?
Can we not share our thoughts and opinions without imposing? Suggestions rather than instructions. Can we not inspire gently, and with grace? The tendency seems to be force, rather than grace.
Many martial arts teach us how to use the force of our attacker against them to defend ourselves. Can we not apply this same principle or concept to arguing or debating and sharing information or opinion?
This is not written from a place of perceived superiority. I am writing for myself after all. This comes from a very honest place. Those familiar with me will know I have several very good reasons to be very damn sure of myself. Recently I have discovered reason to believe that I am terribly wrong about much of it. It would be easy to please my ego by stating I have always suspected these things could be wrong, but that would be all ego. In my soul, I know I was wrong.
The feeling is a little earth shattering at times. At first while coming into this place I had a great deflection occur as a perfect smokescreen. I was being bashed by a group which many would assume would upset me. It didn't, but it gave me a perfect thing to point to when I was asked "What's wrong?". While processing the information I still had to talk to people, answer questions, state opinion. But... my answers and language and opinions were changing. Fear was present.
Do I shut down and avoid the conversations? Do I lash out and rant about the feelings I was having and the frustration with myself I was feeling? Do I project those frustrations onto others?
That would have been quite easy, yes. My choice was.... Grace.
In this instance I behaved in a way I am proud of. Grace. This will not always be the case, and I will make mistakes. Even then I will do my best to choose... Grace.
I was wrong. Some apologies needed to be made, and I made them. A new path is open, and I am excited to explore it.