Years ago, I was trying to learn to date again after my divorce. It was not going well. In a conversation with my oldest daughter, I was complaining about my inability to enjoy dating.
She said, “Dad, maybe your dates would go better if you did not treat every conversation as an opportunity to win.” Ouch. Double ouch.
A woman at a meeting said this. “When I die, they will not say, “She was a lovely lady; she was always right”. In a sense, people who need to always be right, make the people around them be always wrong.
There is a recovery program saying, “Would you rather be right or serene?” Historically, my need to be right has not brought me peace. It has mainly produced tension.
The last few years I was President of the Union Rescue Mission, I never lost a board vote. I always got my way.The board solved their problem of never winning on any issue by having secret board meetings to which I was not invited. At one of their secret board meetings they fired me.
As I grow older, I realize that over the years, I was completely wrong about things I things about which I thought I was absolutely right.
In 1988, I made a plan for the rest of my life. According to my plan, in 2006 I would have retired from the mission and I would be a volunteer at the mission. I was wrong about absolutely everything in my plan for my future. None of it came true.
My humility and willingness to admit I may be wrong, has improved and still needs to improve. As it improves, certain things happen.
1. Life is far less exhausting.
2. I have learned many important things from other people.
3. People enjoy my company more.
4. I see that humility is a major contributor to my joy.
5. The statement,”You may be right ” is becoming a powerful tool of my program.