It's More Important To Be Kind Than To Be Right

It's More Important To Be Kind Than To Be Right

Sure, no one likes being wrong, and we all secretly do want to believe we're above others in some ways, but I'm here to claim that being listened to and being shown kindness are far more fulfilling to our needs than being right about something.

473
views

"To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I keep this quote as the background on my phone because it is significant to a mindset and lifestyle change I have taken the past year. I've written before about why I stopped talking about politics, and that for a variety of reasons. I didn't, and still don't like myself when I'm talking about politics, because "I'm right. I'm always right, and those heathens who think any differently are stupid, wrong, and need to be conditioned to think the same way I do." Being right about things, my whole life, was very important to me, and why not? Why wouldn't it matter to people?

But whether it was through people I met or because I just grew up, I started realizing there was something more important. That's where the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote comes into play - being kind and listening to people are often more important than constantly seeking to be right and prove others wrong.

A conversation about who's right and who's wrong is one of either two things: an echo chamber or an argument. When we think about it, very rarely do either get us to change our minds and think back to the last argument you had with someone you disagreed with - did you think differently by the end of it or did your own beliefs only get stronger?

Sure, no one likes being wrong, and we all secretly do want to believe we're above others in some ways, but I'm here to claim that being listened to and being shown kindness is far more fulfilling to our needs than being right about something. Being right is often a band-aid solution to a problem that is unfixable - I once wrote another article about why a loving God would allow pervasive suffering and evil to infiltrate our world, and one answer, according to Father Kevin O'Neil, is so we are shown mercy. It is so that we can "enter the chaos of others," and that others can enter ours, too, so we are shown "unconditionally loving presences that soothe broken hearts, bind up wounds, and renew us in life."

When Jesus was asked which commandment was the most important, he replied this in Mark 12:30-31: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." I ask you to look inward and ask yourself, how an assertion of vanity over your neighbor is a way of loving them.

I've had a lot on my mind recently, and it wasn't important to me at all when I had a lot to get off my chest what someone else's opinion was, whether they agreed with me or didn't agree with me. If I wanted to war about whether I was righteous at the end of the day, I would have been driven to insanity: what would it have changed, fixed, or even done, if I was the most righteous person in the world? I didn't care about any of that, because, as Dr. Wayne Dyer famously wrote, "when given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." What helped was when I could get emotions off my chest, when people would listen.

Giving up the need to be right about everything was one of the best lessons I've ever learned - and it's not a lesson I learned because I was superficially holy or altruistic. It was because I found things more important than that: fulfilling people and fulfilling relationships - people who listened to me and treated me with unconditional kindness and mercy. It's because I have this love now, from God and from people, that I can do good now, and disappear a moment later and avoid getting credit or recognition for it. As Matthew 6:1 goes: "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, and for you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven."

Again, I still have my beliefs, and I believe them because I think I'm right. I will often vote or even act based on those beliefs. I'm not saying that we shouldn't stand by our views and stand by them passionately and courageously - but that we don't have that much control over what goes on someplace far away. What we can control what happens in our local, every day lives, is how we treat others, and in that, being kind, listening, and showing mercy - those things are much, much more important.

Popular Right Now

To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
2590051
views

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

1599
views

Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

Related Content

Facebook Comments