We all are guilty of that at one time or another. “Once they see this,” we say. “Once we get them to understand that,” we are certain, “then they will see that we are right.” And that they are wrong. Or, at least, they have no reason to not agree with us.
To many, we are wrong. “How can you even think that?” they say of us. And then, in this new world, they commence to dismiss whatever it is we are thinking.
And we do the same to them.
In some life work I did some years ago, one of the first things we learned was how we, as human beings, often make others wrong so that we are right – in ideas, in relationships, in lots of aspects of our lives.
And yet, really, who are we to say what’s right and what is not? Sure, there are some things that are clearly not wrong, that we can all agree on. Like clean air and clean water. And that we shouldn’t kill other people (and even that is up for debate again).
But beyond that, what is “right” to me, and what is “right” to you really depends on where we are coming from – the myriad experiences and learnings and encounters that make up who we are and our points of view. Having a different way of interpreting something, or thinking about something, does not necessarily make me wrong. It just makes me different from you.
David Herriges, at the end of his “Calming the Waters,” which just appeared in Strongtowns.org, said this (about differences of opinion in a paricular issue of community planning):