Being right may seem to be the ultimate attainment in business and personal achievement. Yet, standing on the lofty mountain of rightness may find one …alone.
Where does right get you?
Right is an ambivalent word, full of innuendos, connotations, and meanings. It is, most assuredly, overused. However, despite its diverse meanderings in our language, it remains a potent force in communication as well as an integral part of cultural philosophy.
Right can run a gamut of definitions. Among others, right means correct, truth, the opposite of left, an inherent permission to appropriate one or more actions, or a term to denote what should or should not be.
The problem with right is that what is right to one is not necessarily right to another–what is right to one culture may not be right to all cultures…or how one perceives certain rights may differ between individuals.
In this sense, right is a relative term that indicates where we are mentally, academically, and culturally in the age in which we live. If sought earnestly, it is first individualistic, and contains the capacity to change or transition. Yet, how do we exist together, if there is potential for multiple rights on the same issue? Groups must, eventually, come to some terms of agreement if they are to coexist–a compromise if you wish. And so, with this in mind, society and standards are formed. Institutions are constructed to teach academic concepts as right and philosophical concepts, in some aspects, as both truth and rhetorical inquiry.
And then, we learn–learn what has been learned before, to continue this knowledge learned in ages past, knowledge learned as right. It is easier to teach this, more than reason. For with reason, we must question the concept of right, while society hopes (and in a measure to maintain conformity, demands) the reasoner’s conclusion will be the same conclusion it has adopted–to confirm what has been accepted as right, that what is comfortable and reliable, actually is…right.
Some are secure in the knowledge of perceived right, while others continue to search for and assess the true right. Einstein stated: I think and think for months, for years. Ninety-nine times the conclusion is false; the hundredth time I am right.” Right may be what seems to make the most sense, and for Einstein, what seems to explain the physics of the universe, discovering the conclusions that are the right fit. Yet, Einstein knew that his “right” conclusions were not infallible. They may have been mostly right, and certainly right in the eyes of most. His theories constructed the bridge for future generations to discover what may be even more right.
Right is right only in that it provides a premise to listen to and to consider other rights before making the best choice. In life as in business, we find that we value decisions not so much in that they are right, but that they are not wrong.