When I think about pride, I often remember something my mother once asked me…“Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?” She went on to explain that often, you cannot be both.
The need to be right has an under handed appeal. The need to be right gives us a false sense of our own importance but it often makes us lose sight of the needs of others. We become selfish when we are too prideful. All things become about us and our world begins to shrink because others grow tired of our ego centric point of view. Our inability to bend alienates us from the people we care about most.
Pride makes us deaf and blind but rarely mute as we spout our truth as if it is gospel. Reality dictates that our truth is only a point of view. It is not written in stone and it is not necessarily even accurate but pride keeps us from being willing to see another’s point of view. This is often when others grow weary of us.
Over the years, I have learned that sharing my opinion is one thing but digging in is another. When I dig in, I cannot hear the needs and concerns of the people I love and this creates distance and distance makes me unhappy. Pride becomes lonely.
Not only do I not need to be right all the time, I am often just plain wrong when I have been the most righteous in my single minded pontification. This is usually when I fall the hardest and I have been known to fall pretty hard from time to time. I think we all do. It’s part of being human.
My disease has humbled me. It has made me realize in an entirely new way, that I know not the journey of another person and therefore I have no right to judge it. In an unexpected way this humility has been a gift. It has freed me to be forgiving. It has made me realize that being right is simply not as important as being happy and most of all it has made me better understand that my mother was right.
Sure it still feels good, in a self centered sort of way, to be right but now…it’s just not that important and I would rather be happy!