Thursday, January 29, 2009

When you think that you are so right that you can’t be wrong, think again.

This bring back memory when I am in Form 3, where an “informer” told the board of Prefect that one of the Prefect cheat in exam. I am on the board, and we kinda interrogated the Prefect and she admitted it. So we have to decide whether to bring this to the Disciplinary Teacher. That time my argument is that since she is guilty, then I should do the right thing which is to turn her in, simple as that. To my surprise, one of the counseling teachers says that it is very normal for student to cheat (and everyone cheated before) and we should settle this issue “out of court”. I still can’t believe a teacher actually told that to a student, though it is quite true. Anyway, that’s not the point.

I was so sure that she is guilty so I am actually doing the right thing. Thinking back now, I don’t think I had done the right thing. First of all, cheating in exam doesn’t even come under the jurisdiction of Prefect. Secondly, I approach the matter from the eye of the law, guilty a charge. But as a person, I don’t think she deserved to be punished; she would be warned and be forgiven (everyone sins, and everyone deserved a pardon). No matter how right I think I am at that point of time, I might not be; I haven’t gain the ability to understand that at that point of time.

Today I had a small heated argument with my brother over some really small and stupid matter. I am supposed to measure something, and he kept saying that’s not the way to measure it and mumble about some alternative way which I don’t get it. I ask him to measure it instead, but he refuses to do so and accuse me of being stubborn for not listening to him. Since I don’t know what is he talking about and he refused to do it, so I have to continue with my way. He got so upset until he refuses to talk to me and cancel our supper session. I was laughing in my heart thinking, “is this really necessary?” Take it light bro; we know it is just a very mundane issue. Perhaps he thinks he is right and I am wrong, and he get angry as I didn’t acknowledge that he is right?

One of the problems with smart and confidence people is that they always think they are right. They pre-judge the opponent as wrong, and probably can’t acknowledge that they are wrong even if they know that they are wrong. I once found it difficult to admit that I am wrong or I made a mistake; I do get defensive sometimes, but I am getting better. Anyway, that’s not the point.

I think he assumes that I (and everyone) understand what he is talking about, and his way is the best; thus he is supposed to be right. I come to learn from my years with my girlfriends and the children I am teaching that not everyone think at the same wavelength as us, or have the same level of intelligent and wisdom as us. We assume everyone knows how to speak and listen, though it holds most of the time, but it is not true all the time. Sometimes we fail to convey the message properly, or people misunderstood what we try to convey, or people just couldn’t understand due to various reasons and limitations. But we always assume other are just like us, so they should understand since we understood what we are talking about (it's soooo simple). So no matter how right my brother think he is, is he really that “right”? Perhaps we need a little bit of humility and patient.

The same thing goes when I break off with my business partner. I supposed everyone think that they are right, including me. We are not able to talk sense into each other, as each of us has our own agenda and interest to protect. I guess we aren’t willing to sacrifice and lack of consideration for others. Everyone is too selfish, and partnership won’t flourish under circumstances.

Sometimes I think in life or business is not how smart we are, but how much wisdom, humility and patient we have.

When I think I am absolutely right and someone else is totally wrong, perhaps I could re-access the situation again. Everything had 2 faces, we might need to see both in order to make a better judgment.

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