In August, a child tried to push over a street performer. The performer was standing on a balance board on top of a ball on top of a five-foot high stool. The performer didn’t fall, and after finding his balance, called out to the kid, “Hey that wasn’t cool.” Then he said to the kid’s parents, “Some people should really use a condom.”
Why would that kid do that?
Is balance boring?
Maybe that’s why we “push things” to extremes.
Think about it:
Everything in moderation.
There’s a happy medium.
How dull is that?
We prefer extreme sports, binge drinking, ultra-orthodox and radical feminism.
We polarize ideas and fight for absolutes:
Nature vs. Nurture
Liberals vs. Conservatives
Eastern Medicine vs. Western Medicine
Phonics vs. Whole Language
Vegans vs. Zealous Carnivores
Versus or vs. means against, which implies a fight, or hostility towards. And in a fight there is always a winner and a loser, someone who is right and someone who is wrong.
So is that it, at the base of it all, the need to be right?
According to Terry Real, a family therapist, one of the five losing strategies in marriage is the need to be right. (See: When Your Marriage Breaks.)
But needing to be right is pervasive in our culture, if not the world. It feels imperative to have a strong, adamant stance, a clear point of view, or else people will think you’re weak or wishy-washy. Or worse, boring.
Ironically, I think it’s more boring to be absolute. For example, take Bill O’Reilly. I’m not making a political statement here. I’m simply talking about one man who always sounds like he’s in a fight with someone, about something. He’s unwavering in defending his perspective, and it’s polarizing. He loses credibility because he’s so extremely resolute.
And simply put that’s less interesting, to me, than trying to synthesize opposing ideas, or create new ones.
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”
You “hit the nail on the head.”
I laughed hard over this response. Perfect!
To Me…In Marriage & In Life…It’s More Important for Me to be Happy than Right! It took years for me to figure that out…I’m glad I Did!
I was just gonna comment the same thing,great minds think alike.corrie ,eloquently put and excellently written.really enjoyed you insight
Corie great perspective !!
Thanks Renata. So happy to hear from you!
This writing was perfect. Perhaps your best to date. I can related, I transitioned from the wild ‘n crazy world of sex, drugs and rock & roll to becoming a mild mannered middle aged shnook, and as a result, am perceived to no longer have any social value, and lost most of my friends.
I love this! Sometimes there is no “right” or “wrong,” just two people coming from two different places who see things differently. It’s SO much more interesting to see merit in two opposing points of view simultaneously WITHOUT the labels!
Thanks for commenting here ( instead of privately) Susie!!
I especially enjoyed this one ☺️ !
Thanks Shirley! I really appreciate that.