There are too many in this world today who are fixated on being “right”. They grab onto one thought and cling to it as if they would die without it. Of course, that goes very much against my mantra
Question Everything, Think For Yourself, Never Stop Learning
If life were only that simple. If everything could be neatly put in the “right” or “wrong” box and then forgotten. That is a fantasy called binary thinking. Unfortunately, life is much more complicated than that. Being in that gray area between perceived right and wrong can be very frustrating. That type of polarized thinking has become far too pervasive in our society. All the anger thrown back and forth on most social media sites just perpetrates more anger from the other side. How can we break this frustrating cycle?
I look to one of my heroes for a possible answer. Socrates was well known to roam around ancient Athens town square looking for inconsistencies in influential people of his day. You might say he “Questioned Everything, and thought for himself”. He was famous for his style of questioning that would make people reassess their values and beliefs.
He often said, “the only thing I know is that I know nothing”. That revealed his sense of humility and that he was always in the search of what he didn’t know. He frequently acknowledged that his view point may be wrong. He challenged people to consider that they need to understand that they used incomplete information in their decision-making process. He didn’t set out to “win” arguments, but instead make the person reconsider his views.
In our hyper-competitive society, the “win at all costs” only leads to discourse and divisiveness. I think the reason that Socrates was so well recognized in his time is that he never entered a dialog thinking that there is only one answer. There is wisdom in being wrong. We learn and grow. We connect with others.
In conclusion, I don’t know exactly how Socrates logic could be applied to today’s world, but it is kind of nice to think that somehow people will eventually come to realize that they got it wrong, and need to rethink things… myself included.