Ode to being wrong

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On Being Right

For years I felt less than because of a school system that makes anyone that attends it feel that they are flawed or deficient if they get answers wrong. I am sure you know the feeling.

Later in life I chose to start reading even though a slow reader (which affected my performance in school) so that I would not so much have the correct answers but be more informed on the many problems that plague us so that I could, instead, sort out not the answer but the flaws in the questions being asked. By being better informed I hopefully could come up with more pertinent questions that were not being asked so that a path to a right or more correct answer could be pursued.

Every time I post something of controversy or email out a commentary I am looking for feedback. I am not looking for the thumbs up or the thumbs down or worst of all the ones that can only say they agree or disagree. If they do not explain why in either response all that they have done is offer a baseless opinion that I guess provides them with the ego stroking they desire. I think it is because they fear exposure of how little they know on the subject. That’s why I always offer resources so possibly they may choose to be better informed.

Here’s one: “Decision Point” by GW Bush

Life and issues are all about dialogue. We must stop this insanity and be willing to risk so that we can get feedback so we better evaluate our position. We must be willing to be wrong. If we are unwilling to fail or be wrong we can never grow emotionally and intellectually. Obviously throughout my life I have been wrong a lot, but I learned when it is pointed out to look deeper into the subject so in the future I can be less wrong.

Two people really opened my eyes to this. One was the President of Raytheon Corporation who in an interview said he had just competed a two year study of every major decision he had made and he claimed he was wrong more times than he wanted to admit. The other was the President of The American Bar Association also in an interview who said the American Justice system is horrible, however what was second place was so far down the scale that we of course are seen as the best.

I write a ton on education reform and send to a broad base. I can only assume I am at least more right because all the ones that say I am wrong never come back when asked with anything that says why. The same goes for the ones that agree. I guess they all have the mentality taught in 1st grade of T or F.

Why are we so afraid of being wrong when all success is based on failure and then recovery? A ski instructor told me that if I was not falling I was not learning because I was not pushing the envelope of what I was comfortable with.



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