I’m life coach and part-time philosopher Peter Winslow. Lately I’ve become aware that like most people, I am very fond of being “right.” As I contemplated what this says about me, a deeper question fell into my lap: what if there was no such thing as “right” or “wrong?” In other words, what if everything was sacred?
There are well-established philosophies in the world that maintain the very same. They hold no moral high-ground for the concepts of right and wrong. To them, it’s simply a matter of law: actions have consequences, and we learn from our mistakes.
Karma, they call it. They believe, as the founders of the world’s great religions had taught, that there is no redemption in judging people as “right” or “wrong.” That task is left to providence.
Why then do so many people stake their happiness and sanity on the need to be right? It’s a Herculean task, considering that righteousness can be a moving target. Very often, what is right now may be left behind later on. Right or wrong, left or right… who’s to say?
It was once considered good and proper to own human beings, until enough people deemed it no longer right to do so. The argument split our country in two, leading a nation to war against itself. Many on both sides of the issue met their ends believing they were absolutely right.
What aspect of humankind so fervently feels the need to be right, even in the face of death and devastation?
The answer: the cognitive mind, also called ego. This is the aspect that pursues “rights and wrongs” with reckless abandon. Its very existence depends upon being “right,” to establish support for its beliefs, to impress those beliefs on others, and ultimately to have them capitulate in agreement.
Yes indeed, we are right. We can’t all be wrong…. can we? Tune in to the next installment for the righteous answers.
– Peter Winslow