Monday, September 19, 2011

You Are SOOOOOOOO Wrong!

You are wrong.   And the sad part is you have no idea how wrong you are.

There are things you'd practically bet you life on that are just plain wrong.  Yes. there is that one word that you have been mispronouncing all your life .... it's still wrong.  There is that one thing you would swear you know exactly where it is ... and it just isn't (good luck finding that thing, by the way; you are going to need it).

O.K. there are a lot of things you are wrong about that just don't matter.  You are not off the hook.  There is that thing you really think that would solve a societal problem, but if it were implemented it would harm so many people that it would keep you up at night if you knew.

Being wrong has its consequences.  Look at history for thousands of examples.  That darned "medical" theory of the four humors led to who knows how many of cases that were treated by blood letting ... when it was kind of the exact opposite of what was needed.  By the way, eating food and drinking water contaminated by lead ... not a good thing, and more than one major leader has made some really screwed up decisions because of it.

And that's just science, how about philosophies that devalued other groups of people to a point that genocide has been "justified".  Yeah, being wrong doesn't just hurt you, it harms every one around you.

I see that top honor graduate in the back smirking.  What was your average on your tests in school? 99?  Outstanding!  Then perhaps you can comprehend just how many different systems totally break down with a one in one hundred error rate.  Trust me if your smart phone was that "wrong", it would barely function at all ... to dial another number (forget the rest).  That phone seems a whole lot "smarter" now, doesn't it?

So what about your belief system?  Well so much of what you believe is mutually exclusive of what some other person believes.  Add all those points up and the odds that you are right about every single one ... well I don't know, but some really smart mathematician could figure the odds.  Most likely the answer might be off some what, but it would probably be in the right ballpark ... which would be extremely slim to none.  I'm going to round that off to "none" right now and save me the pain.

So you are wrong ... accept it and deal with it.  You are in some truly excellent company .... o.k. and in some really seedy company too (but don't let that part get you down; there's no upside in that).

So with this knowledge, what do you do?   

First off: Realize that just because that other guy is obviously wrong about something does not make him less wrong than you (I've met that guy so I know how painful that is to think about).

Second: Do not live your life without other people to call you on your serious B.S. .  Unless you are going to be a serious hermit ... and that includes staying out of the virtual society too, this is your best bet at being able to cause the least amount of harm ... and it is the best way to maximize the amount of good you can do.  You need friends and you need a community to be a part of.  And do not cut that person out of your life just because they disagree with you.  That person may be doing you one of the best favor anyone can do for you if you are willing to at least consider it ... and if they aren't right this time, maybe they will be the next time.

Third: Since we can't be right about everything, how about if we cut other people a lot mere slack than we do now.  Yeah, they need to do what they can about their own stuff.  But let's stop being more impatient with other people than we want them to be with us.  Let's try to be a little more decent to each other at least a little more often.  And maybe one day even learn to celebrate our differences when and where we can.  O.K. we can't tolerate the murder, child abuse, rape, and a host of other really bad things - but how often are these the reasons we don't value the person next to us? Yeah, I thought so.

Fourth: Realize that apparently being right about everything isn't what being a person is about.  If it's an impossible goal, then it is not part of this thing called humanity.  So search for truth, but realize that we never actually arrive, so there has to be value in the paths to try to get there.  But how about we walk down that road and be glad for the progress we've made more than beating ourselves up over how far we are from the end.

Fifth: ... Hey, I'm just some guy and I'm just as screwed up as the rest of you guys, so why is it up to me to finish this darned list? I've already said more than I really know.  You are most likely more qualified to speak to this than I am.  How about you think about what your response needs to be to the notion that you are wrong.  You'll probably be more profound than I will be.

My only saving point is I know I'm wrong ... as I find out more what I'm wrong about, apologies will be forthcoming.  Oh and there are the times I forget how wrong I am ... that's when I'm the most wrong .... I think

Next time, I'll try to cheer you up with how very right you can be. :)


Feel free to comment, but please keep it PG-13 or cleaner. :)