Nothing Wrong with Being Wrong9:51 AM
The first time I got an eye exam, age in the single digits, I memorized the chart. My older brother went first and got everything perfect. I went next and couldn't read some of those teeny tiny letters. No worries -- I just copied what my brother said. No way was he going to show me up. No way was I going to be wrong.
Over ten years later, I can't read the professor's handwriting on the board anymore without glaring at it. The thought of faking a perfect eye exam score just to be right and not wrong makes me cringe. If I get all the letters right on my next exam through elementary crookery, I will probably slowly go blind and require a golden retriever to lick my hand in Morse code to remind me what the prof just said about Pythagoras. Bottom line: I need to show my farsight's failing so that it won't fail anymore.
It took me forever to even begin grasping this concept: being wrong is not necessarily wrong. Mispronouncing "Hippocrates" of course got a round a insulting college student laughter, but I never mispronounced it ever again. Goofing up a big work transaction made me bawl in the back room for my entire fifteen minute break, but you better believe I don't space out at work anymore. Misspelling "allocate" (why did I go against my gut?) in the regional spelling bee ended my chances of moving forward, sure, but at least I learned a new word.
Nothing changes or improves when I'm wrong and then fight to seem right. Not even my precious ego remains in the end, because how clever is it to muscle my way to the top with a stupid argument? I can't even respect myself.
I think I learned to be okay with being wrong when I saw my wanna-be-right-no-matter-what attitude on other people. It wasn't pretty. It was ridiculous. "Dude, just admit you're wrong. It's not a big deal. Nobody's mad at you." I witnessed this most during presidential debates: Everyone and your own self knows you're wrong. Denying it makes you look like a dishonest idiot. People don't vote for dishonest idiots. Oh. Well, actually....
If you really want respect and admiration, just admit you're wrong when you're wrong. You'll learn, grow, and change really fast, because if you're like me, you've got plenty of mistakes from which to learn. People might make fun of you, but they can't use words like stubborn, demanding, or proud without being wrong themselves.