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It’s second nature to say, hey hey hey, we’ve done nothing wrong!

April 11, 2010
  • Title Inspiring Song: “Nothingwrong”-Jimmy Eat World
  • April is all about helping Invisible Children. So continue to click and help for free. And thank you to those of you who have helped already!
  • It’s the second Sunday in April so this post is going to be that funky one(I really need to come up with a better name for this) where I change-up the usual style of my posts. If you have suggestions/ideas for May’s “funky post” then don’t hesitate to let me know by email, comment, formspring or whatever way you want. 
  • As usual comment away if you have something to say because I love hearing from the people who are reading SQ.

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”-Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.”-Igor Stravinsky

Welcome back on this glorious 2nd Sunday of April! This month’s “funky post” is actually inspired by a discussion with another blogger about education as well as a bunch of other different topics. He suggested that I should write on why we’re so scared of being wrong. I thought it would definitely make for an interesting discussion so I am going to try to tackle it this week. Thank you for the suggestion!

Before I launch into this week’s post. Let me share with you an interesting related Time article I found. Yes, it’s from 1967..and that may be 43 years ago but that does not necessarily make it not relevant. Maybe to a research paper, but not to this discussion.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,837243-1,00.html

      How do we differentiate between what’s wrong and right? From an early age, through school, our family, and society we are instilled with certain values which form our future perceptions of right and wrong. We learn not only from our own experience, but the experience of others.  Stealing a stop sign. Wrong. Returning a lost wallet. Right. Helping others. Right. Insulting and ridiculing others. Wrong. Those rules guide us pretty well as a generality, but often nothing is that black and white.  There are conflicting ideas, thoughts and motives that make us question our own morality and the ethical thing to do in a given situation. Technically in the gray area, there’s not really a defined wrong or right, it’s subject to your opinion and everyone else is going to have their own. However, we are so quick when given our own little window of time to say that we’ve done nothing wrong.

     It is as if being wrong is the ultimate death sentence. We act as though once we’re wrong we get it tattooed on our head and everyone sees it for the rest of our days. Au contraire Pierre!  Human short-term memory has amazing capabilities, but does not last THAT long. Plus why would anyone want to devote that much time and energy to remembering what you said and forgetting about themselves? That takes away humiliation and embarrassment as excuses to fear being wrong.

      On to the next one, confidence. You might think to come up with an idea/question like you have you must be going off the deep end. But what if you’re not. Your idea might not earn the next Nobel prize, but that does not make it any less worthy of being discussed. You are a strong, powerful, beautiful, intelligent individual with a functioning brain so use it and don’t let it atrophy up there. No one asked you to be perfect or expects you to be, but you are expected to make the best out of what you have. So ask the “stupid” questions because chances are the co-worker or student next to you is thinking the same thing in their head, but they are scared of asking too. Trust in yourself enough to say how you feel and do not choose fear. Choose confidence even if that does not mean being right all the time.

      The final contributor to fearing being wrong that I am going to allude to is diversion. I know that sounds a little weird as a category, but let me explain. Over the years of schooling we have had we have been taught what the right answer is. The way we learn is geared towards finding the right answer because that’s how we get the problem right..that’s how we get an A and get paid. What about the process? Often during the process our brain is actively forcing us to consider other ideas. Maybe the ideas do not fit exactly what we’re looking for, but they still might have some value if followed through. But like a horse with blinders on we ignore all of those excess ideas in pursuit of the right answer because that’s really all we are interested in. That’s wrong in and of itself. The process is the process for a reason and that’s why we go through it.  Invest a little more in the process it’s not wrong.

 Don’t be so scared of being wrong that you let it hold you back. Give yourself some credit and trust that you might be right and even if you’re not it will probably teach you something far more valuable. You’ll be a better person for it.

That’s all for now. Have a great week and see you next Sunday!

❤ SQ

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One Comment leave one →
  1. theblackphoenix permalink
    April 28, 2010 2:33 am

    Nice quote on science. It makes me want to say “amen” (ironically).

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