Pesky wasps and being right

The three of us were chatting in the break room, catching up and munching  croissants from the bakery on the corner.

“Sounds like last night’s event was terrific,” sighed Fran. “I wish I’d been invited.”

“Me, too,” I replied.

“Both of you were invited,” Penny asserted vigorously. “I sent you an email invitation but neither of you responded.”

“Strange, I don’t recall receiving that email…”

Fran jumped in over me, “If I had received it, I would have signed up immediately, Penny. You must have omitted my name from the distribution list.”

“Look, I sent it. If you two didn’t read it, Then. That’s. Your. Problem.” Penny said with a dismissive toss of her head.


Have you ever been in Penny’s spot—absolutely certain you’ve done your part and equally certain it’s the other guy who dropped the ball? I know I sure have.

Fortunately a couple major blunders where I clearly owned the hot seat of screw-up responsibility taught me to pause and check. Business rewards leaders who have the right answer; however there’s a big difference between being confidently right and arrogantly, self-righteously right when you’re obviously wrong.

Like pesky wasps buzzing circles around us, people who act as if they were the sole expert on a subject put us on edge. In halls of learning where we least expect to find it, in governments, in religious temples, in businesses, in marriages and families, dogmatism is the arrogant voice of certainty that closes the mind, damages relationships, and threatens peaceful coexistence on this planet.  ~ Dr. Judy J. Johnson

Stepping back from needing to be right is something you have to want to correct. Many times the need to be right is based on the fear of being wrong. Courage, character, humility, and wisdom all play a role in overcoming that fear.

There’s liberation to be had in giving up always being right. Summon the courage and character to admit uncertainty.

There’s joy to be had in saying I’m not sure but I’ll find out. Embrace the humility and vulnerability that makes you strong enough to say that.

There’s personal growth to be had in saying let’s find out together. Have the wisdom to make it so.

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