TED Conversations

Daniel Vineberg


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"I don't try to be right, I choose to be happy" ... wait, what?

With no disrespect intended to RIc or any readers with opposing views, I take issue with the quote I pinpointed. The pursuit of happiness is a great thing and all, but I don't think it should actually take precedence over being right.

Now I know there's a fine line between "being right" and "doing the right thing". After all someone who tries to "be right" on every minute issue can get very annoying fast ( -- ever met someone who insists on correcting grammar when it's clear what's being said? case in point).

But on larger issues I would like to suggest that proving that you are in fact right constitutes doing the right thing.
eg. Galileo would've been a lot happier if he just agreed the earth was flat and stopped insisting he was right -- but aren't we happy he was stubborn?

more recent eg. Fighting tolerance / discrimination. Though intrinsically rewarding, most of us can live an easier, happier life by turning a cold shoulder. But who would argue that this is good advice?

I don't mean to pick apart Ric's quote and use it out of context. All I would like to show is that what may help you live on a micro level may actually promote apathy on a macro level. I'm only twenty though, so I'm still at the idealistic age where I think some hard work can save the world. But isn't that what TED's all about? :)


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    Apr 28 2011: In my understanding, what he was trying to convey thru this sentence is that most of the time we get stuck on small, trivial discussions and ideas of being right and spoil relationships that is more valuable. He gives and example of relationship with wife but it could be friends, parents, brother&sisters anybody that came in our life and we had meaningful time with them. Think about how many split and spoiled relations we have in our life? Have all these splits made us better human beings? He is talking about reflections. It is not about losing value system and morality for being happy. Its about losing the ego. Its about being non-judgemental. Its about accomodating imperfection.
    The trick here is to understand what is right. One can decide right and wrong retrospectively but how do you decide that prospectively is the question. Even if we take the example of Galileo, do we know exactly what changed if the belief of people changed that earth was round and not flat. It mattered to a handful of scientist in their quest but what for a commoner was that important?
    So, it is critical to understand what does 'right' mean? Isnt it too relative? Does it not change over time & space. So what he says is to value and enjoy what is more important to keep human relations going. The bonding getting stronger and we accomodating more imperfections and individuals
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      Apr 28 2011: Mentioning the ego, maybe it is the "ego-driven rightness" we need to let go of. That part of being right that has to do with preserving our own world view.
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        Apr 29 2011: "Chaos is what we've lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existance is defined in terms of control."
        — Terence McKenna
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        Apr 30 2011: wow great quote..one to tatoo on our palms and walk around with every day..tx
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        May 4 2011: amen amen amen 10 thumbs up..yes that is it excatly Kristiopher..we need as you have so wonderfully said, to let go of ego driven rightness.. that is indeed where it all goes afoul.

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