Beyond Right and Wrong

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The practice of meditation creates spaciousness that provides the opportunity to see ourselves and the world more clearly, through a more holistic perspective, rather than through a binary, or black and white, lens.

In a recent conversation I had with a person who was highly identified with a particular political party, it quickly became evident that his identification with his political party was so all encompassing that there was no room for any other point of view. It was no longer a perspective; it was the gospel truth. I shared with him one of my favorite lines that I originally saw on a bumper sticker: “don’t believe everything you think.”

Is the world really in need of more opinionated, dogmatic people, or would we be greater served by an expansion of open-minded, independent thinkers who are capable of changing their minds upon hearing new information or different perspectives?

I have come to realize for myself that, while I have opinions, I’m not fully convinced that they are right, and I am more convinced that they are only part of the truth when it comes to anything in the objective world.

It seems the world could use a large dose of beginner’s mind. In beginner’s mind we look at situations freshly, letting go of preconceived ideas and fixed ways of considering ideas. Rather than thinking in terms of big government or small government, is my religion more peaceful than your religion, or is it better to be a vegetarian or a meat eater, maybe questions like what is the value of each perspective or choice, and how can we reap that value, would serve us better.

This approach provides us with an opportunity to really hear one another, to take a deep interest in each other’s concerns and needs, and the possibility that real learning and understanding can take place.

One of the most dangerous things is to be right. When we feel we are right, or when we are right, we are more likely to feel justified in all manner of unkind acts. Some of the worst human atrocities were committed by those who were utterly convinced that they were right, from Hitler to some of today’s modern dictators.

Very rarely are we actually right. We are certainly right about certain aspects of situations, but then we are oblivious or blind to so many other aspects that to act purely from our rightness is not likely to serve us well. What might serve us better is to bring our understanding and perspective to each situation, fully knowing that we only have part of the solution.

If we can let go of the need to be right altogether, then we can solve most of our problems because then we are open to seeing the whole picture, which is most often an evolving picture that requires us to continue learning and growing.

I conclude with that popular Rumi quote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” See you there!

Enjoy the journey.

2 Comments

  1. cynthia says:

    Practice of mindfulness and awareness of the breath…may all beings be happy and live in safety…here and now…thank you for the reminder of this magical moment…blessings

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