“I’m not sure it’s correct to say that it’s more important to be kind than right but I can say that if you are not kind, you are not right.” Brian McLaren
Somewhere back near the beginning of this blog, I did a post that revolved around that quote. It stirred up quite a conversation, one which I am not eager to re-visit.
It's a thought that sticks with me, and which has again become prominent in my mind lately. I think there are very few statements that are universally true (as in non-debatably absolute, all the time, in any place), and this one is probably not one of them.
But it's still a powerful one.
When I focus on being right, it tends to be with an underlying assumption of someone else's wrong-ness. AND it furthers that assumption with the idea that probably I should correct that wrong-ness, with my right-ness.
When I focus on being right, it tends to be about drawing a line somewhere between me and someone else, with the idea that, "I will put up with a lot, but no more than this." Which is a stupid line to draw. Because I know as soon as I draw it, I'm on the look-out for someone to cross it. And they will. And then I must demonstrate that I am right.
When I focus entirely on being right, I become a person that I like less. Truthfully, my self-esteem is solidly in place most days, but there's nothing wrong with stepping back every now and then, and checking to see if the person I'm being is the person I meant to be.
And this week ... this month ... kindness keeps popping up in my head.
And so I agree with Brian McLaren, although I don't always (and in my experience, his kindness doesn't demand that I agree with him). I don't know if it's better to be kind than right - but kindness gets dumped at the side of the road far too often. And without it, I think it's awfully difficult to be right.