- Thoughts for inspired living

May 14, 2008

Right the Ship

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:24 am

I was having my bathroom tiled last year at this time. The man who did the job was truly a craftsman and truly miserable. I remembered his work from many years before but I had forgotten how steeped in misery he was on a personal level. After having him in my home for a couple of days, The Grasshopper had these two things to say:

“Your misery will continue if you would rather be right than get right.”

“Being right gets in the way of getting right.”

This man lives in the conceptual world of right and wrong. You may have already guessed that in this drama he plays the part of “Right.” As I listened to his stories, they were swollen with how this one was wrong and that person was wrong and, by and large, what idiots always showed up in his life. Reminds me of a story . . .

There is a man who is moving to a new area and decides to ask a local farmer what the people in the area are like. The farmer asks him a question before answering, “What are the people like in the area where you currently live?” The man said the people were honest, hard working, family folks and wonderful neighbors. The farmer said, “That’s exactly the kind of people you will find here.” Not but a few minutes later another man came by and asked the same question. The farmer again asked, “What are the people like in the area where you currently live?” This man said, “They are dishonest, back biting, people who are only out for themselves.” The farmer replied, “That’s exactly the kind of people you will find here.”

Getting right is recognizing that you are the cause of your wrong. When someone rights the ship, they are guiding it to an upright position and steering it out of harm’s way towards advantageous sailing conditions.

Making someone wrong is best left for court cases. When you make someone wrong, you always have the accent on the wrong syllable – “out there.” Something out there is wrong and causes me to be miserable. The longer you keep accentuating external conditions, the longer you will sail on the rails.

The quicker you take responsibility for your own state of mind, the sooner you will right the ship.

It’s amazing that we never notice that making someone wrong never brings us peace – just continued misery. People want to justify their rightness, and when it becomes a way of life, it seems everything always goes wrong.

You can spend your entire life trying to convince people that you are right but as The Grasshopper has said,

“Some people would rather be right than happy. And preferring to be right, they are left out.”

If you have truly been wronged, please address it. If you simply have to always be right, you are in for a lonely existence.

Getting right is noticing how invested you are in the concept of being “right,” and recognizing the misery that’s attached.

For many, always being right is a protection mechanism from the pain of being wrong. Someone who is always right has been conditioned to feel wrong somewhere along the way. The pain of being wrong is so severe that they cannot even entertain the idea, so they invest all their energy in being right.

Don’t give up your morals, just give up being right.

Being right is like being on drugs. It’s addictive. Begin to wean yourself away by recognizing your need to be right. Just by noticing this pattern of behavior, you begin to bring your boat to an even keel and set sail towards serenity.

All the best,


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