Friday, December 29, 2023


Yesterday, I confessed that one of the things I'm working on is not being wrong-headed even when I'm right. And I ended by saying that's really tough. 

Here's why it's tough:

Because choosing to be right-headed, even when you're right and could very easily be a jerk about it, often means accepting things that you don't want to accept. 

It's hard to humble ourselves and take a quieter path, especially when we know we're right. (Objectively know we're right, not just assume we are.) It feels like maybe we're letting the world walk all over us. It feels like we're letting injustice happen. It feels like we're not only accepting what is broken, but maybe even embracing it a little. It feels like we're losing the battle, at just the moment when we feel strong enough to fight it. 

Many of us, especially females, have been in these positions quite a bit in our lives. We have taken a step backward to avoid conflict. We have let go of things so that we don't have to assert ourselves. We have let things be, even when we know they're wrong, because we have felt too weak to fight. 

So when we take a step down, it feels like a forfeit. It feels like a defeat. It feels like we just gave up, like we're too passive, like here we are again, letting the world walk all over us. 

Nobody wants to be a doormat. 

Especially when it comes to issues of right and wrong. Nobody wants to let wrong win. Nobody wants to give up on right. Everyone can see pretty clearly that right is better for everyone than wrong is. Everybody wants to be known as a righteous warrior, a champion for the truth, an ally for the little guy. 

A lot of times, we can convince ourselves that if we had simply stood up a little stronger, a little straighter, a little longer - if we had just been less of a doormat - then whatever is right obviously would have won. 

But here's the truth - and hear me on this - there are very few persons in the world who have ever had their heart changed by a jerk. 

Very few. 

Most of the time, standing your ground and asserting your right-ness and demanding what you know is good doesn't do anything except convince someone else that you're a jerk and that the truth, Truth itself, is abrasive. Most of the time, all you do is turn someone off. Most of the time, all you do is turn someone away. 

Certainly, there are some folks who might, later, when they have stepped away from the heat of your fury, admit to themselves, "Man, that guy was a jerk, but he was right." But usually, it's easier to just stew in the fact that you're a jerk and you're not worth listening to. And maybe you're even arrogant or self-righteous. You're definitely not someone to ever get in a conversation with again. 

So then, we're stuck, aren't we? If we stand for what is right, but we are wrong-headed, we come off as jerks and turn the world away from the truth. If we don't stand for what is right because we know we cannot be right-headed, we let the truth be defeated and we feel like a doormat. Are we destined, then, to always lose? 

Of course not. 

But winning looks a little...different.  

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