It's More Important To Be Kind Than To Be Right
Start writing a post
Health Wellness

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.

5026
It's More Important To Be Kind Than To Be Right

"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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

19397
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

89617

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

116227

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

98168
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'The Addams Family 2' Film Review

The sequel to the 2019 reboot is an enjoyable, but unremarkable start to the Halloween movie season

63308
Photo Credit: MGM – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd82bSBDE84

There's a reason why the Addams Family have become icons of the American cartoon pantheon (although having one of the catchiest theme songs in television history doesn't hinder them).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments