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Valerie Netto

Horse Trainer Riding Instructor, American Riding Instructors Association

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How would we treat each other if we were not controlled by a need to be right?

We all have areas of life that we are passionate about like religion, politics and horse training. We all think we are right, marriages end, families are torn apart and through history we have died trying to prove it. Why, and if the saying "would you rather be right or would you rather be happy" appeals to so many of us why do we cling so tenaciously to the need to be right? HINT:
E veryone
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Topics: polotics religion
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  • Dec 21 2011: There is a difference between BEING right and getting things Right -- or finding the Best Right Answer among many possible right answers. It is a basic human need to BE right, and I believe it is this need to which you are referring that is the source of much conflict. We spend much of our lives trying to justify our positions, opinions, ideas, feelings, and distinctions, because we hate to be wrong. As a business coach, I see this every day, usually in subtle ways that prevent people from personal growth and limits their possible choices and responses to change.

    Healthy societies are able to rise above this basic instinct to "be right" in order to create the "best right answer" for the society as a whole.

    This basic human need to "be right" is becoming more of a problem in the U.S. I would venture to say it is becoming THE problem of this nation and, ironically, may be evolving into the solution in other parts of the world. We have combined our need to be right with constant social interaction and communication through multiple layers of media - "social media" in particular. "In order for me to be right, you have to be wrong"...and that's just WRONG (pun intended).

    What's the difference between current affairs around "being right" in the U.S. and, for example, Arab countries? The Arab Spring is a result of a multitude of people coming together to voice their input toward the BEST right answer among all. Discourse in the U.S. has become nothing other than a continuous argument based on the premise that "I OWN the right answers, which means you are wrong." American public discourse is lost in the noise of our own ability to contribute to the argument so that civil conflict is no longer, well, civil.

    Conflict can lead to innovation, and to a common good. Only when we return to a search for common values, a common mission and a common good will we get it right once again.

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