Monday, September 08, 2008

The Importance of Being Right

The desire to have and know the truth and be right is an overwhelming desire for some of us.

I don’t know if it goes back to the Scot-Irish side of my family or growing up in a Christian tradition of always wanting to be and do what was right with God. Wherever it comes from I recognize this desire within me to want to be right.

One of the ways that I “prove” I am right is to ‘speak with authority’ and to state something like it is a fact. When I might have only read it in the NYT.

It’s ridiculous!

When I think about it, it reminds me of a guy I knew in college named Ray who was too smart for his own good. In order to impress his professors with his intelligence he would attempt to phrase questions in the wordiest manner possible. It was always an adventure listening to Ray ask a question in class. You were never certain where it would end up.

But there was something preposterous about Ray’s questions and statements…something that ate at his credibility.

I see some of that in myself and it troubles me. I don’t want my credibility to be eroded.

I also see it in most of the rhetoric being bandied about in this election climate. In some of the television commercials on both sides - claims are made and positions represented that are, in fact not true.

And yet the information is presented as factual, reliable information. Consider the source and the motives of the source.


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