Saturday, July 7, 2018

Being Wrong and Learning From It

I think it can be useful to remember that we may spend our whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find in the end that our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. And no one wants to be wrong.
However, being open to examining our own life's map sometimes takes courage, especially when our former conclusions don't hold up against new information.
For example, I often see my own students struggle to recast new images of other cultural groups from a distance, but when students from different countries begin to interact together on a closer level, they begin to deeply examine their former beliefs about one another. Apprehension and fear are replaced by kindness and understanding, and a deeper gratitude for others flourishes.
There can be concern for those who close their eyes and still cling to the top of the wrong ladder, so secure in absolutes. However, the richest relationships that I cherish have had been with those who are doing the best they can, and when I have found myself climbing up the wrong ladder, they are patient enough to redirect me. Sometimes, we need to shed intellectual hubris and certainly to find our way.