C.P. Right and Wrong?

Right and Wrong?…


The Right Thing and the Right Way

Lou began, “I asked whether it makes a difference in a conflict if one side is in the right and the other in the wrong. So I ask you again: doesn’t that matter?”

“Yes,” Yusuf replied, “it does matter. But not the way you think it does.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Well, Lou,” Yusuf responded measuredly, “have you ever been in a conflict with someone who thought he was wrong?”

“No,” he answered coolly. “But that doesn’t mean they’re not.”

“True,” Yusuf agreed. “But you see, no conflict can be solved so long as all parties are convinced they are right. Solution is possible only when at least one party begins to consider how he might be wrong.”

“But what if I’m not wrong!” Lou blurted.

“If you are not wrong, then you will be willing to consider how you might be mistaken.”

“What kind of twisted riddle is that?”

Yusuf smiled. “It only seems like a riddle, Lou, because we are so unaccustomed to considering the impact of what is below our words, our actions, and our thoughts. There are two ways to … engage in almost any … strategy or behavior… Which means there is a way I can be wrong even if [it] is the best—even the right—thing to do. If I don’t remain open to how I might be mistaken in this deeper way, I might live out my life convinced I was on the right side of a given conflict, but I won’t have found lasting solutions.

“The deepest way in which we are right or wrong,” he continued, “is in our way of being toward others. I can be right on the surface—in my behavior or positions—while being entirely mistaken beneath, in my way of being.

“So, Lou,” Yusuf continued, “in your conflicts with others, even if you are convinced you have been right in the positions you’ve taken, can you say with confidence that you have also been right in your way of being toward them? Can you say that you have been seeing them as people rather than as objects in your disagreements, and that your heart has therefore been at peace rather than at war toward them?” (Arbinger Institute, 2008, pp. 56-57)



Right and Wrong?

 

The Right Thing the Right Way

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