It’s Easy To Be Wrong
By Bart Vogelzang
©2011 All Rights Reserved

Amazingly, we sometimes get things right immediately, but more often than not we get things wrong. Frankly, it’s easy to be wrong, and we start off doing things that way, right from birth. We quickly realize that we were wrong, and manage to create the process we call learning; from our mistakes, from being wrong.

One thing we get from immediately being right is a frozen attitude. Just like when you stop searching for something once you find it, you stop searching for other options once you’ve found one that seems to work. If it works for you, there is no point in seeking further. The only really meaningful learning occurs from dealing with being wrong. It requires you to think about the situation, make guesses about other possible approaches and try again. If you are lucky, even if you don’t think so at the time, you’ll have a series of failures, being wrong often. Being able to see and admit to yourself that you are wrong actually makes you a much stronger, better person.

Attempting different approaches to things opens up pathways in your brain that simply cannot be opened by being right. Interconnections form, particularly if you have had partial success and partial failure; attaching your correct decisions to other correct ones, and marking wrong decisions for extra consideration in future. The results of being wrong aren’t wasted, as you are able to catalogue them into a sort of reservoir of future options, for different situations.

Besides acquiring the learning process, your ability to deal with disappointment and loss is also improved. You develop a ‘thick skin’ for your own errors, and also learn to understand and accept imperfection in others. They too are making mistakes, being wrong much of the time, and learning, just as you are.

At some point, you will realize that those who believe they are right, whether they are or not, are mostly pompous asses with little thinking behind them, and even less compassion. The biggest egos seem to be embedded in those who have no right to one at all, having not made any progress at learning anything. Of course we have to remember that there is one other group of people with this challenge, those who cannot see that they are wrong. They can be 100% wrong, and yet refuse to accept this, and will continue with their lives as if they are actually right. I’m speaking here about the devoutly religious, who will take anything that goes wrong as not being of their own creation, but that of some outside evil force of darkness, the Devil, or even the Will of God. Since they don’t accept their own failings into the equation, there is no room for learning.

Like the arrogance of aristocracy, and the conceit of the inherited rich, the pomposity of the ‘always right’ is repugnant at best, and downright dangerous at worst. People with those traits have a very unfortunate tendency to not only run their lives based on those repulsive characteristics, but they try to force their myopic, stagnant, and even ruinous views on the rest of us, despite not being superior or effective at all; having no real abilities at dealing with challenges…never having needed to learn those. They come up with inane ‘solutions’, banal rules and regulations, and even repressive laws that simply will not do what they profess to want. These usually fly directly into the faces of those who have actually lived life, and discovered wrongness, thereby learning how to cope with failure. The inane ideas attack those who have learned from making mistakes, who have become compassionate towards their fellow human beings; their poisonous diatribes serve only one purpose, and that is to protect them from the horror, as they see it, of being wrong. They seek to remain ‘right’ at all costs, but their worst cost, unrealized by them, is the loss of their own humanity.

It’s easy to be wrong, and one should pity those who never are, or maybe more correctly, those who fear to be.