When I was a child my father warned me, “Don’t ever say to someone that you are positive, unless you know 100% that it is true. Nine times out of ten you will be wrong and then be embarrassed and maybe ashamed.” Although I took him very seriously when I was young, as I grew into adulthood I put that advice aside along with many other childhood lessons, believing I had outgrown them. I’m an adult, I know how to live my life.
But oh how it came back to haunt me! As I was telling someone I was positive about something, I would hear my father’s voice in my ear, Be careful. I said it anyway and sure enough, on many occasions I would be wrong. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Time for some humble pie. What’s that?
The reason I’m writing about this now is yet another experience that reminds me of how flawed I am as a human. It was a barn situation involving me, my trainer and the rest of my barnmates. It was a she said-she did with complaints flying, fingers pointing and no one was happy. I immediately listened to one person, and without hearing anyone else’s side of the story, confronted one of the parties involved as if I knew I was standing on the higher ground. And boy does self-righteousness feel good, right? I backed off a little as I listened to her defend herself. Then I separately listened to another party. She sounded reasonable, although it is hard to say who is telling 100% of the truth.
Well, little miss smarty pants (that would be me), maybe your confrontation was a bit premature, if not unwarranted. I apologized to the person I confronted and listened respectively and with an open mind to the second. I walked away feeling pleased that I had “done my research” and humbled by how easily swayed I had been without listening to all sides. Lesson learned.
It’s so easy to jump to conclusions, believe you are right and act accordingly, even though more time should be taken to learn the truth. We love to be right! We love it even more when we can point it out to others, especially our spouses or partners. There! I’m right and you’re wrong! Hah! (Time elapses) Wait a minute! How could that be? What do you mean I’m wrong? Prove it! And then they do. Ooops. Red face time.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel certain, positive and self-righteous, take a break. Send your ego away and think about your position. Are you sure that you’re right? Is there something you should do first to clarify? Trust me, it will prevent some foolish arguments, hurt feelings and embarrassment on your part. Surprise, you can be wrong even when you are absolutely certain you are right. That’s only your ego talking and most of the time it’s best not to listen to it.
I’ll bet you thought I was going to write about Thanksgiving, didn’t you? Well I do have this to say, be grateful. No matter where you are in life right now, there is someone else who is worse off than you. Thank God for all you have. Happy Turkey day! :))