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I'm Right, You're Wrong

Café-Salon Philosophique #34

April 3, 1999

No. of Participants: 10

Evening's Topic for Discussion: "I'm right! You are Wrong!

Samuel began the evening's conversation by commenting on the fact, "People in this world like to be right, why is this?" Café-Salon Philosophique is a place where people can come, be listened to, and "be right" in whatever they are saying. It is a good place for expressing one's thoughts and ideas.

"So, what makes people think they are right and another person wrong?" Steve says, "People like to be right. They don't want to change their ways of thinking and doing. I think this is probably because of insecurities. "Being right" justifies their existence."

Dennis thinks "facism" is at the root of "I'm right, and you're wrong!"

Reinhard commented "every one has the right to their own opinion." "The only problem is, is that every one wants to be right! That is why there has been so many wars and killings over the centuries of humans being in existence upon this planet."

"False pride has alot to do with it also," stated Attilio. "Many people don't know why they exist or what they are here for, so they justify their insecurities through the need to be "certain" of things." They stay "busy" in daily activities.

"I know from my own experience that the reason I have to be right is because of the insecurities I developed from my own childhood," said Cathy. "I'm right, your wrong" was one of my big defense mechanisms and I still have to keep it in check. "I think I've used this defense mechanism because of low self-esteem at times." "One has to stop, look and listen to what another person is really trying to say before responding," she continued.

"Another reason people might use this mechanism of "I'm right and your wrong" is because of anxiety or nervousness." If you learn to fix your self in a spot, (stop and consider), this might alleviate some of the anxiety. Layne didn't "profess to know anything at the moment." Lara agreed with Cathy & Attilio that "insecurity is one of the reasons for the existence of the concept of right and wrong."

But, on a positive note, she believes "there are going to be differences of opinion because we are all individuals comfortable in our own different rhythms." "Also, you have the scientific way of thinking of "being right" versus the artist. Scientific is usually based on true, proven facts. The artist is more intuitive and is generally based on feelings."

Steve commented, "lots of people don't accept scientific facts as proof of the truth." Dennis blatantly stated, "I like being right. This drives my wife crazy and doesn't work well in my marriage, but I can't help it."

Cathy and Attilio answered with, "there must be a compromise in order for a marriage to work." "You both have to give and take a little." "A person needs to be able to look at the situation objectively with compassion and humility," Samuel said.

Next question, Why does the, "I'm right and your wrong" attitude not change? "Because people do not like to believe in something new, and resist change to new theories. People have to think they know what they are doing. If not, then they become confused or chaotic." Steve said. "They go on pretending that they are right or act as if they are right." "It is a way to justify life."

"Religions also are a master of deceiving people of the truth," says Samuel. What they say is right and what you say and do is wrong. (You guilty sinner!)

Attilio wondered, "How do people like Mussolini, George Surell, and Hitler etc. get to be tyrants?" "Tyrants usually arise after chaos has struck within a country." Steve answered. "History shows that tyrants usually had horrible childhoods and came from really sick families."

Samuel added that tyrants are both "physically and mentally sick." Their personalities show them to be suspicious, paranoid and cruel with no sense of "right or wrong." These type of personalities tend to develop "agendas" toward controlling others. Their self-made "I'm right" ideologies justify to them their horrific behavior.

Dennis then bounced the group to discussing how, "we have lost the path of the true artist - liberal arts." Lara stated that true artists don't know the source of their own work. As a writer, she gave the example of a "writer's writings being public domain." "People have the right to interpret whatever they want from it."

"No interpretation is wrong, it is just a viewpoint or perspective of the person reading it. If someone takes the writings and does a variation on it, it is because the writer has inspired the person to do so. They have basically just reassembled the information."

Dennis likes "receiving feedback from other people." Lara knows "the source of her creativity comes from within her self." She knows that they are her own experiences.

Cathy said another reason for this attitude is because of "technology." "We alienate ourselves by losing personal contact. We get out of touch with nature and spirituality." She continued, "At work we tend to take sides, form groups, become clicks." "Everyone identifies with the clicks." People are more comfortable in group situations than venturing out on their own. I think they find it safer."

Samuel commented, "one needs to learn to use technology, not let technology use you. It's also about lack of community. We stay in our own little world and don't expand out enough in the community."

Dennis blames "TV" for creating alot of false images and illusions about this world. Steve responded with, "people lack real values. Their values are placed upon material things. They find security in what they accumulate and measure their worth by what they have." "Everything is done by measurements." "If you think about it, we measure body fat, weight, what we eat, how to build houses, accumulation of money, etc."

Cathy thinks there needs to be "balance between all things" in order for the "I'm right, your wrong," to be rectified. Things such as, hard/soft, eastern/western philosophies, digital/ continous, mechanical/organic, yin/yang, yes/no, either/or.

Samuel calls this "accepting and balancing the dualities of being." Passive listening is also very important. Dennis quoted Williams James who said, "One needs to rearrange their prejudices." Einstein said, "Common sense to all prejudices is developed by the time we are 18."

Samuel says, "In order to find balance, to become nonjudgemental, to be an objective observer, one must go within to discover these things. Only from within, do you learn that you are objective, without judgement, and find peace and balance."

The final question was, "If you could cure, I'm right, you're wrong, how would you do it?" Reinhard would "look for transparency, those things that ring true." Layne would look to see "who she is, and who you are." One needs to be open to hear both sides of the story. She said, "I would make everyone immortal."

Cathy believes we need to "listen to others and suspend judgement." Attilio stated, "no cure will work unless it is willingly developed." Dennis remarked, "happy people never have to be right. Unhappy people are noisy, and have a need to always be heard." "They insist on people listening so they can justify their existence here in the world."

Steve says, "we need to be open, able to compromise, and willing to change in order to cure the "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude." Samuel concluded by reminding us that, "the camel does not see its own hump, only that of others." "How many of us really observe our selves when relating to others in thought and action?"

He also read some thoughts of his own, "The Curse of Being Right" which I would like to paraphrase from. "Why do we fail to see the big picture? Can you imagine what would happen if humility and intellect were the new weapons of choice for influencing "the other side" to one's point of view?" "Maybe we could learn to dream big, act big and boldly promote what we think is right, but do it with goodness and kindness; and decide to practice these acts every moment with conscious awareness. Conscious and directed effort will surely bring peace and assist in functioning from a state of harmony and balance with respect to all those we relate to."

Our next Cafe discussion will be held April 17, 1999 at the Troubadour Bookstore located at 1638 Pearl St., Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there! Invite your friends!

Reported by Alessandra,

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.