Whether you think you are right or not, you are right.
The quote above is a revised version of Henry Ford’s Quote — Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.
As people, we assess matters through various lenses.
Most popular ones are right or wrong, good or bad, true or false etc. We are wired to employ these lenses to justify or make decisions.
After the encounter with Temi yesterday and her insistence on my actions being wrong. I got really worried and processed several emotions from fear, guilt, happiness, and pride, to sadness all between last night and this morning. I even had an interesting dream about the consequences of my action. Lol
Here’s what happened …
It was a Sunday evening and I had just finished facilitating a virtual session. I decided to step out of the house for the first time that day only to see pieces of okra both whole and half-grated at my doorstep. But I got curious about the Okra and casually mentioned my observation to the Landlord whom I saw on my way out because I didn’t want it to become a recurring thing.
On this night, I stayed out longer than usual, I was at a neighbourhood bar observing the environment and scrolling through my phone not knowing that “my mention” had caused a ruckus at the house. Apparently, my landlord had taken up the matter to rebuke everyone at home about the unpleasant condition of the compound. I got home and meet people clearing trash and cleaning the compound that night!
“People” here refer to the Landlord’s immediate family, wife, daughter and an extended family member of the Landlord(Temi).
I was about to open the door when Temi mentioned she had been waiting for me to return and started querying me about “my action”. She wanted to know why I “reported” what I had seen to the Landlord and was super confident at labelling “my action” wrong! Of course, I told her she was entitled to her opinions but I didn’t like that I was the cause of the ruckus and I did apologise for that, not to Temi though.
Thing is, that kind of ruckus is not unusual in the house, I just didn’t like that I was the cause of it. I know that previous frustrations fueled the outcome and eventually resulted in more anger, shouts and verbal abuse. The positive outcome of this is that the house is much cleaner now. But that’s not my point.
I got really worried about the “right” or “wrong” conversation. I know that the incident aroused a lot of negative feelings that will result in even more negative reactions, a consequence I never want.
Like Temi, everyone will have their opinions but opinions don’t make us better people. It doesn’t also make us give and receive love as humans; which is the true essence of our beings.
Love your neighbour as yourself.
I introspected about how I could have handled the situation differently and gotten a better result. The only thing that came to mind was kindness. I came to realize that I didn’t act out of kindness. I mean, I could have overlooked the dirt, tossed it away, or cleaned it.
I also examined my “justification” under the lenses of kindness — which was so that leaving dirt by my doorstep doesn’t become a recurring thing — yet kindness sufficed, I realised that I have the abundant capacity to extend kindness even if it happens again and again.
Kindness will always suffice and we have it in abundance.
I’m glad though that I did mention the matter to my landlord because it helped me to learn this valuable lesson — to extend kindness more. Plus, we have a much cleaner compound now.
I learned that neither RIGHT nor WRONG can pacify the human mind, KINDNESS can.
Kindness can evoke a positive feeling that will lead to more positive feelings and help us become better people.
Going forward, I will always choose kindness above right or wrong, I hope you will too.