Sunday, September 9, 2007

Being Right, or Doing the Right Thing

We love to be right in this culture. From a very young age we are recognized and rewarded for having the right answer. But wanting to be right can build a trap. It can make us not want to budge from the answer we "know" is right. Even if all evidence is pointing to the fact that maybe we should reconsider. We have an abundance of politicians who suffer from this disease of never, ever being able to move from their original point of view, for fear that it might mean they have to admit they were ever wrong about something.

I have found myself in this quandry recently. I made a decision that I thought was right. It was a public decision. But, other points of view started to pop up here and there. I had to re-think why I made the choice I did. Was it valid? And even it it was valid, was the price of that choice too high?

Being able to re-think your choices, especially public ones, is not easy. But in the end, I am glad that I had the opportunity to do so. Changes will be made in the original plans, and in the end, I believe the outcome will be better.

Part of what made this process easier is trust. Trusting the people I turned to for advice when I decided I needed to re-evaluate my decision. Trusting that in the end people will judge a decision to make some changes to the plans better than a stubborn persistence in being right. It was not an impulsive reaction to comments that were recieved, but a careful, and honest analysis of what the trade-offs of each option might be. Was it more important to hold my ground, because I was "right", or to adapt because there was more information available to me now that shed a new light on my choices?

It is easier in the short term to just hold your ground, and not budge. But life is long. We don't always have all the information, or make all the right choices. It is okay to adapt and adjust. It is essential to adapt and adjust. Being afraid to make a choice and just move forward can be as detrimental as refusing to change your mind once you have made a choice. It is a form of perfectionism that can paralyze people.

Can you make decisions when you have to? And, perhaps more importantly can you reconsider your choices? I think this is what grace is about. Accepting our limitations, and not letting them freeze us in place. I think it is one of those things that becomes easier with age. I hope you can find grace when you need it.

1 comment:

tammy vitale said...

Made me think of Dr Phil who is always asking if we want to be right or we want to work through whatever it is the person is working through. Always good to have support around one when one is in a quandry!