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26 November 2008 @ 09:29 am
Tao of the Day  
Would you rather be right, or happy?
- Phil (gkr)
Tags: ,
Current Music: "Mable" - Goldfinger
The VFR Chick: *Gasp*!thevfrchick on November 26th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
Happy! :)
D. Anthony Robinsonbuck_fuddy on November 26th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
Being right makes me happy. ;)
Sharon Combshollyqueen on November 26th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Paxpaxamillion on November 26th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)

But I will admit that it can depend on the issue to be right or wrong about.
sculptruth on November 26th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what is right or wrong; what a value judgment of being right, correct, true, accurate, exact, proper, fair, or moral is to others, myself, or the universe at large. Of course, I could be wrong.
Kburgunder on November 26th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy
So, wait, what you're saying is you're happy, right? *duck* *grin*
sculptruth on November 26th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy
If it's wrong to be happy, I don't want to be right!

/also ducks
Douglaschiaspod on November 26th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
From personal experience, I'd rather be right. Trying to be happy when I'm being told I'm wrong but my instincts point to the contrary leads to some ugly, ugly moods; I have 30+ years of trusting my instincts, and deliberately suppressing them or ignoring them leads to some bleak depression.

For the "being right makes me happy" camp: suppose you come to believe that, say, your SO is deceiving you on some fundamental, essential point. The SO denies it when you ask, but you can't shake the suspicion. Say this happens repeatedly over several months. And then you have it confirmed that the SO is deceiving you.

Would you seriously argue that you are absolutely happier now knowing that you were right, and that your relationship has fundamental flaws?

We'll call this the Jessica Premise. When it happened to me, certainly was not happier, ever. The best that I could say was that it stopped hurting after a while, and now it lives on to be an example of What Not To Do.

Another example: when someone tells you, say, a history that just sounds Too Good To Be True. I know someone who likes to tell a story of Triumphal Success Against All Odds. Problem is, once I started doing the math things didn't match. And I personally felt horrible, because here I was doubting this person for no reason other than "my gut told me so." Everyone likes her, she's charming and warm - but to me, her story had huge holes. And when I finally poked around a bit, I realized that I was right. But I wasn't happy - because now I realized her friends were being manipulated, having our emotional strings jerked. Again - right, but not happy.

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive; I think most often you can be happy and right. But it's not universal in any way to say that being right automatically makes you happy. And though it makes me unhappy, when we hit these edge cases - I'd rather be right. I'd rather have the right information to be able to make informed decisions on securing the safety of me and mine.

Edited at 2008-11-26 07:19 pm (UTC)
nplusmnplusm on November 26th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)

Not right as in correct...as in "I am right, you are wrong".

But right as in righteous...as in "I am sad, but I did the right thing."
Keep your fork there's pie!: Bathtub thinkingjennaxide on November 26th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
Well spoken, nplusm.
Kburgunder on November 27th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC)
Maybe it should be: "Would you rather be right, or liked?"

That possibly encapsulates both unpopular righteousness and unlovable know-it-alls.
nplusmnplusm on November 28th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I'm still going with "right".

At the end of the day, I have to spend time with me...and that is irrevocable. Compromising doing the right thing to be liked seems like a bad idea.

Again, right meaning righteous and ethical,

Which is different from being right where right means getting people to agree with your viewpoint.

To quote Rudyard Kipling

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
animaeruption on November 27th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
I'd rather be interested.

Boring... is... well... boring. Fuck boring. Even if its right. I'll fight to change the right to something less boring and less right until its right and interesting.

Er... yeah! It actually works that way.

Missed you at writing group. I came up with a new game!

Also, your title of chameleon came up with interesting insights when I let it spread throughout the rest of my workings. I'll elaborate if you remind me over email or coffee table.
Kburgunder on November 27th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
My goal in communication is to understand and be understood, inasmuch as we can understand each other without the full context of each others' experiences. Understanding, to me, is inherently interesting, and often hard-won. In my world, understanding = interesting = happy.

One of my ongoing social intercourse pet peeves is people who listen to how I say instead of what I say, and feel compelled to correct my how, to be correct.

That shuts me down. I guess, ultimately, it communicates to me that they don't care what I have to say, only how I say it. They need to be right and the ensuing behaviour makes me unhappy. As I said to Jake, maybe the quote to fully express my thought on this and encapsulate right as either correct or righteous is actually, "Would you rather be right, or liked?"

I'm not a semantically precise person. I'm very much contextual. Maybe that's part of being a chameleon?
yvetteserpentmoon on November 27th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
That's too hard to answer. Life is too complicated to choose one over the other. Even being riteous isn't all that it is cracked up to be. Resentment can build up against you and in a case like that, sometimes, I would rather be the one who is in the wrong.
Kburgunder on November 27th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)
Maybe the quote to fully express my thought on this and encapsulate right as either correct or righteous is actually, "Would you rather be right, or liked?"

It seems that's often the choice ...

Nothing is a simple pithy quote, but I still love compelling aphorisms. :> They often do a good job at just the right moment.