Who Made Me God? The Power of Being Right

I’m having lunch with a friend and we start talking about some of her clients.  She and I share certain beliefs that many of her clients don’t share.  As we started off on a rant in the vein of, “Can you believe these people?” I stopped myself. 

I asked, “Who made me God?”  Who made me the almighty authority of what everyone in the world should believe on this (or any) topic.  Who made me the one, right supreme being with all the answers?

I stopped the conversation in its tracks.

We’re all taught to speak kindly of others, use our words with integrity, speak no evil, be impeccable with our word.  How often do we violate this basic tenant?  It’s so easy to do.

We like to be right.  It makes us feel good.  It bolsters our ego.  We feel like we belong and we’re accepted when we’re with other people who have similar beliefs.

But that’s all they are – beliefs.

Even our concepts of God (by whatever name you would like to use) are just beliefs.  And there are so many different ones.

Does it really matter if we’re right or not?  In the grand scheme of things, what difference does it really make?

What are the results of being right?  Other than the more beneficial ones I mentioned above, we also get to alienate ourselves from others who have different beliefs.

A few years ago I got into an argument with my father.  Basically, he didn’t like how I chose to live certain aspects of my life.  He was condemning me for not living my life the way he wanted.  I told him that I had made the choice to not be around negative, limiting people.  When I asked him whether he would rather be right or see his daughter and grandchildren again, he flat out said, “I would rather be right.”  I couldn’t believe it but I accepted it.

Being right about beliefs is what wars and terrorism are based on.  Really, what’s the point?

Accepting others for who and what they are is a very hard thing to do when their beliefs don’t line up with yours.  Why?

Because we subconsciously feel that people with different beliefs are somehow threatening to our own beliefs.  We can’t all be right.  Right?

Has someone close to you decided to change something about their lifestyle (moving to a healthier diet, living a simpler/minimalist lifestyle, exercising more, following their passion in a very big way, etc.)?  How did you greet that change?

Did you openly or under your breath say that the changes will never stick, the ideas are crazy or some other negative, unsupportive idea?  If so, why?

On a subconscious level we feel that if others close to us change, our beliefs about those people will no longer be right.  Their changes will make us question our own beliefs about ourselves and suddenly everything is subject to questioning.  And that’s scary.

It’s easier and safer to keep the status quo.

What if we decided that everyone is right?  Accept whatever beliefs anyone has?  Understand that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else believes?

Each person’s unique beliefs are a result of that person’s life experiences and how they have interpreted those experiences.

Everyone’s beliefs are as real to them as their experiences.

So where have you declared yourself God and decided what is right and wrong?

What would happen if you gave up being right and just accepted the people and situations as they are?

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Posted in: Comfort Zone Challenges, Personal Growth, Personal Responsibility Tagged: , ,
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5 Responses to Who Made Me God? The Power of Being Right

    Tess The Bold Life
    Commented:  12/01/2011 at 6:48 am

    Hi Paige,
    I do believe the line “Would you be happy or right” has saved our marriage many times over the years. It’s funny how strong our ego is, isn’t it. I agree with every word you have here and especially the point about terrorism and war. Especially the wars we have within…thinking and playing scenarios in our head about how right we are.

    Reply
  1. Pingback: The Power of Being Right | Mindfulness Unbound | Scoop.it

  2. Mike Routen
    Commented:  01/09/2012 at 8:50 pm

    Paige,

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly people can grab onto an idea or belief and yet they will fight tooth and nail to defend their position. It is unfortunate how we can be so insecure that we cannot tolerate the idea that other people have different beliefs.

    If we truly believe what we believe, then what others believe just doesn’t matter. It is when we have to convince ourselves that we cannot tolerate differences in others.

    Thank you for the reminder that we are not God and we don’t always have to be “right”.

    Mike

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  01/09/2012 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks Mike! You’ve touched on one of the biggest issues in our society: lack of confidence or self-esteem. So many people don’t believe in themselves enough to be comfortable both with themselves and with others. Unhooking our attachments to our thoughts and beliefs and being more accepting add so much to our personal happiness.

      Reply
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