Being Right Doesn’t Always Mean You’re the Smartest Person in the Room

6 12 2013

I used to purposefully seek out ways to point out the “wrong” in others’ words with the sole purpose to prove I was smart enough to know what “right” was.

But then I grew up.

See, if I knew the right answer, then I was obviously the smartest one, right? That I knew the right way to go? The right way to be? Yep, that was important me.

And I see that it’s also important to a whole lot of people in the world, from politicians to educators. And it’s truly to our own detriment.

Don’t misunderstand. Precision and “correct” is important. But it’s not the only thing, especially at the expense of stopping connections and movement forward. Think to how much you want to work with or even talk with someone who is compelled to prove you’re wrong, seemingly at every turn? Sounds like many education and political conversations I’ve seen!

It’s still tough to resist that urge in certain situations, as I’m learning how to be kind and polite when so much of society encourages (by passive and direct example) just the opposite. But it’s worth it to seek out the “right” in all situations, lift it high, and let the wrong naturally drift away.

Because this is how we get great things done for great causes.

And that is the smartest thing.

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