There’s a quote that I read recently in a novel that says, “When given the choice of being right or being kind, choose kind.” While I love this, for so many reasons, for the sake of exploring something here with you, I’m going to change it to: When given the choice of being right or being open, be open.
And this is why…
When we think we know, we go in to a situation, conversation, scenario with a very limited and closed perspective. We’re already right, we know how to proceed, how to go about it, what to say, how to do it… or so we think. This is not only limiting to us, but it’s limiting to the whole world (from the personal, 1:1-level to the neighbor-level, to the community-level, and on out from there). Every moment has literally limitless possibilities and by contracting around one (or maybe two) of your right ones you create a form of tunnel vision for yourself. Picture yourself wearing horse-blinders. Or, looking through binoculars that can’t move. You get the idea.
When we’re able to go in to a moment or situation completely open, however, without the mind-clutter of stories, should/shouldn’ts, opinions and judgments already in tact, we are able to clearly see what IS, the truth of any given moment, situation or circumstance. That narrow tunnel has now widened and from there, we are move available to see what’s needed (if anything at all) and what the possibilities are.
So, how do we come in open and free of a pre-conceived idea? First, you have to be willing to see that, at any given moment, you’ve already formed an idea or opinion that you believe is right and to consider that it may or may not be. After you’ve cultivated the willingness to be wrong (I know, I know, it’s a tough one, ego), you keep yourself in the “I don’t know” camp as you observe what’s in front of you. As you take in the situation you ask yourself, what’s really true here? What’s actually needed? And what do I have the capacity to offer? No judgment (or yourself or others), just seeing and observing.
If there’s a willingness to drop your “rightness,” that which is actually needed will become clear. Because you are open, you will have the capacity to see it, hear it, sense it or, because you are available and receptive, it will be offered directly to you.
When given the option of being right or being open, be open.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.