On Being Right

by Belinda Munoz on August 10, 2011

3972301088_297013c4f1

Red ink smeared
before it dried.
The page,
too soon turned,
was seen by none.
Proof
(dis)appeared as though
it never was.

****
I’ve been struggling with something.

A few years ago, I was right about something of importance. The problem was being right didn’t win the popularity contest.

Some recent events have caused that time to re-surface today. This time, as it turns out, many have begun to believe what I knew back then. But the odd thing is I don’t feel vindicated nor do I feel like gloating. And this tells me something — something that I haven’t always acknowledged. This tells me that there are more important things than being right.

What does it mean that there are more important things than being right? Don’t we all want to be right? Isn’t being wrong what we want to avoid?

In my process of pondering these questions, I’m realizing that sometimes, being right has an expiration date. When the horse leaves the gate and the right saddle is left behind, there ain’t no turning back for that jockey (never mind the ouch factor). It’s a quirky metaphor but you get the picture. At some point, being right loses its viability and moving on becomes the next right thing to do.

And speaking of doing, sometimes (maybe oftentimes), being right can’t hold a candle to doing what’s right.

*************
How much do you value being right?
How do you know when to insist on being right and when to let it go in favor of keeping the peace? Of moving on? Of doing what’s right?

For dVerse Poets Pub

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claudia August 10, 2011 at 4:49 am

hm – i get what you mean belinda…find it difficult myself to keep the right balance…i tend to be quite task oriented and if i think something is right or i am right, then i start to run into this direction and tend to forget people…but i’m learning..

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2 brian August 10, 2011 at 6:50 am

true that…being right is not always worth it…doing what is right yes most def trumps it…smiles.

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3 Pat Hatt August 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

True being right isn’t always the best things, sometimes I’d rather be wrong. Of course on some occasions it’s fun to gloat..haha

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4 Elizabeth Young August 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

I agree with you 100%. Am I very good at this? Unfortunately no, but I have improved – slightly. I really appreciate what you wrote and have taken in to heart today, because I know you’re right.

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5 ayala August 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

Being right is not always worth the battle but doing the right thing is.

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6 TheKitchenWitch August 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

Doing is, indeed, much better than being. A good thing to remember.

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7 Kristen @ Motherese August 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

I totally get this, Belinda. Your post made me think about the way my husband and I tend to bicker. We each want to have the last word – to be right about whatever small issue we’re arguing about – but, in almost every case, moving on eases the temporary tension and being right doesn’t really matter in the long run.

Thanks for making me think today, my friend.

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8 poemblaze August 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

Being right has an expiration date! That is a great line to put in a poem. I appreciated your contemplations and your sharing them with us. I’m dealing with similar things now ….

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9 hedgewitch August 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Being right is terribly overrated, I’ve been told. And so often, no matter how factually right you are, those who would most benefit from realizing it are unable to see it. Sometimes they never will, but you still have to deal with them. It’s one of the harder things in life, moving on from being right –but then maybe right is as individual a thing at times as ‘normal.’ Thanks for getting my brain fully awake and engaging me in both your poem and your point.

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10 Sara August 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Belinda,

This is tough!!! When you know something with your heart and it goes ignored; it is hard to let it go when the truth is realized. In my case, I’d want to scream, “I told you or I warned you!”

On the other hand, the “told you so’s” don’t really change the outcome. You are right, we do have to release that “need to be right” energy and step right back into whatever disaster might have been avoided and say, “Okay, how can I help.”

p.s I don’t always do this. It’s one my life challenges:~)

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11 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri August 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Touch call. Being right is connected to ego. I hope, with age, I learn to let go of that attachment.

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12 Cathy August 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm

This is a huge issue for me. I don’t always have to be right, but if I am I need it acknowledged. Without the acknowledgement, I stew. Not a good thing. I am getting better and trying to see a bigger picture but it is definitely a conscious effort for me to do so.

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13 pea August 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

Nothing wrong with being right and enjoying it. A lot of people will have worked hard for their accumulated wisdom and experience. But it is enough to know I am right and back down and opt for peace.

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14 BigLittleWolf August 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I don’t care much about being “right.” I do care about open and honest discussion that moves all parties involved toward understanding other perspectives. Sometimes there are variations on right, degrees of right, lesser wrongs. It’s rarely black and white.

I do care about doing right – according to my principles, doing right by my family and . friends, doing right by my sense of self.

But ultimately, those of us who stubbornly put up walls and posture over who is right and who is wrong may miss out – on people. Life is very precious and very fragile. I had a stark reminder of that today. “Right” words, “right” behaviors, even doing everything “right” is of little importance if someone you love is hurt. Life can change in a flash. Egos are immaterial.

Great post.

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15 Meg August 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I love this, very wise and clear, especially the last bit: “And speaking of doing, sometimes (maybe oftentimes), being right canโ€™t hold a candle to doing whatโ€™s right.”

I hope you don’t mind if I memorize it and use it for a mantra through my difficulties with my family ๐Ÿ™‚

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16 Talon August 14, 2011 at 6:04 am

When being right about something that isn’t pretty or nice or sweet is vindicated, it has a ring of hollowness…sometimes people can get so caught up in being right, it totally eclipses exactly what you say, Belinda – just doing the right thing. And doing the right thing – especially when it’s not the popular move – takes courage and wisdom.

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17 Jannie Funster August 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

My daughter is the queen of being right. But it’s her age.

I guess I’ve traded being right for being kind. But only in the past 2 days. ๐Ÿ™‚ So far so good.

I figure it’s best to let just about everything go. Nothing last forever. But love.

xoxo

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18 Madeleine Begun Kane August 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I’m very cynical about politicians and usually turn out to be right. In most cases, I’d prefer to be wrong.

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