i was in an argument with someone the other day. we were discussing conspiracy theory and the person adamantly disagreed with me. he began to insult me and i felt anger rise up in my chest, my pride trying to rescue my ego. i had been in arguments like this before. i wanted to show him who was right, to prove who was right, and who could shout the loudest, or who was the strongest, or who could think of the wittiest insults. i had travelled that path before, been down that road. i knew that, with my sensitive nature, no matter how the argument went i would be hurt no matter how expertly i put my argument. so instead of defiantly standing my ground and stating my case, i paused for a moment and then said, "you're right." it took him a few seconds to realize what i'd said. "you're right," i went on, "there's no illuminati." he dropped the rest of his diatribe. the furrows in his brow relaxed. he finished another sentence but didn't continue. all the fight was gone from him. we enjoyed a nice conversation afterwards.
it doesn't matter if you're right. it is far more important to be kind, then to be right. where an individual is argumentative, where they are stubborn, be flexible. where they stand proudly, be humble. be wrong! where there is conflict bring peace.
from a lifetime of experience, born from conflict after conflict, argument after argument, no one wins a fight. or more correctly, the one who makes peace is the one who wins. this is not easy. most people's lives have trained them to do the opposite of this. to strive to be right no matter the cost. a person's pride and ego will demand that they be right.
i have spent much time around religious people, spiritual people, gurus, "enlightened" beings, of many religions and philosophies. yet they are often no different then anyone else. the behavior of the teacher is often little removed from the student. i remember reading about a riot that had broken out between the anti-defamation league and a group of neo-nazis at a public protest. it was told by a police officer who had been present to ensure security, and he had said it was impossible to tell the difference between the nazis and the jews. both groups had been violent, hateful, and insulting.
"you must be the change you want to see in the world," gandhi said. for one to make peace, one must be peace. it is often necessary for one to demonstrate humility in order to end conflict. be a person who does not argue. concede the matter before conflict can arise. nothing so greatly sows peace such as humility. nothing destroys peace such as pride. imagine a world where our leaders could admit they were wrong. the first shall be last and the last shall be first. this is the way of peace.