Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On being True rather than Right

I confess that I spend too much time trying to "win"  arguments for my own pride.  To lord my superior..... what? Intellect?  loquaciousness? Bloody mindedness? - over others.  I realized what I was doing wrong after reading this:
You know, the older I get, the less I care about being right. I remember when being right was everything. You wanted to win every debate, to brutalize your opponents in any kind of argument, to force them to acknowledge your superior knowledge and experience. It was, in essence, a matter of narcissistic supply, of the confirmation of self-worth through demonstrating superior intellect..... 
Something changed over time. Call it maturity, or wisdom, or understanding of self. Or call it, as I do, a certain intellectual exhaustion. Whatever it is, I just stopped caring about appearances. I didn’t care to prove myself right, or to prove the other wrong.
I wanted to learn. I wanted to understand. I wanted to know truth — regardless of whether or not anyone believed me. It came to the point that I wanted to be proven wrong, in fact, for that would mean I would have discovered a new truth. My own knowledge would have been expanded. I was still emotionally invested in the outcome, per se, but not in the same manner. If the debate granted me no new knowledge, no new perspectives, it was useless. It was a waste of time. It didn’t matter if I had demolished my opponent’s argument. It was still a nothing....... 
I’m much too old for that sort of thing anymore. It is exhausting, chasing after perceived rightness. It is a path to madness. All I want to know is what’s true, and what’s false, so that I might live my own life by those truths, and share them with those I can reach
Me too. 

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