Right or Kind
“In mundane terms, I may be “right” in preventing my children from hitting one another with the unicorn-on-a-stick (Such is my life.)
But kindness must infuse the intention and the action.”
This post was originally written as a guest post for Maia Duerr - teacher, coach, author of "Work That Matters", creator of the Liberated Life Project, and an inspirational contemplative. I was reminded of it when she recently re-shared a link to the related post, "The Art of Asking Liberated Questions".
(You can read that post here.)
Many years ago I heard the phrase, “Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.”
To some this may seem obvious, but I was raised in a world where success was praised. I debated with my father for hours just for the sake of debate – strengthening those logic muscles. In school I quickly learned that if I could find a way to be right, I “won.”
I had no choice but to pay attention to the tremors that this phrase of kindness vs. correctness sent through me. But the question that arose after months of letting it roll through my mind was the question that made the difference in my life practice.
“When is it better to be kind than to be right?”
It was the parent question that birthed baby question after baby question. (If it is only sometimes better, when are the times it is better to be right? What is being “right”? Is being kind just being a door mat? Being right can make a lawyer millions of dollars – what does being kind get me? What if I’m proven wrong – do I try to be kind or right?)
Like a gentle constant breeze, this question and the resulting ones continue to blow against the forms of my beliefs and shape my life experiences and practices.