would you rather be right or happy?

who we are today is largely based on who we were growing up. how we view love, family, information, art and most things are influenced by our childhood. not childhood in itself, but during childhood, laws were created, and we accepted them.

that goes for being wrong, too. how we view wrongness and rightness is directly related to what laws were set growing up. were you always told you were wrong? did you stop talking or giving your opinion? did you start adopting other views for the sake of fitting in?

were you always told you were right? did you become a know-it-all? did you stop thinking critically because of the praise you received from basic actions? did you grow up thinking “right” is an irrefutable fact, therefore everyone else is flat out wrong?

or did you have the space to be both? did your parents let you have freedom to be wrong but let you figure it out? did your parents say “hey, that’s not the best way to do it, but if that’s how you want to do it, do it. But be ready for a response/reaction you might not like.”? that was me. my parents gave me freedom to create my own laws. freedom of right and wrong. with that, came my own determination. critical thinking. wondering. imagination. with that came happiness. i practiced being happy. right and wrong wasn’t a thought. during freshman year in high school, my teacher told me hip hop isn’t poetry after i submitted rap lyrics for the assignment. me submitting rap lyrics as a poem was “wrong.” i had the option and time to redo the assignment or receive an F. i came home, told both parents. i ended up receiving an F for that assignment because i kept it the same. was the teacher right or wrong? you decide. but i made the choice to be happy. happiness of tangibles isn’t sustainable. and it depends on others. external happiness isn’t what i’m talking about today, or ever, really. winning the lottery happiness is extravagant but that depends on someone else. millions of someone elses, in fact. happiness coming from others thinking you’re right or others doing what you want them to do isn’t what this is about. i’m talking about internal happiness. receiving an A or F wouldn’t have made me any happier than the other. that wasn’t my thought for a second. happiness came with how i accepted happy.

happiness and wrong isn’t always the same as ignorance being bliss. i know it’s easy to connect them but fall back. think about this differently. choosing happiness over right doesn’t mean you don’t know anything. it doesn’t mean your whole existence is the opposite of right.

you believe something right now. it might go against what a lot of people believe but you believe it. say… believe Jesus was a white man. that might make you happy. you have no reason to believe that outside of being told it and seeing pictures of people who weren’t alive then. now what if there is historical documents and geographical context of Jesus being a brown skinned man? would you rather be right and continue your line of thinking in order to be right, or does your relationship with Jesus makes you happy so being wrong this whole time has no effect on you?

would you rather be right or happy?

most people say “happy.” of course. and most people say what sounds better for their brand. thus, most people lie to themselves. 

if i asked, “what percentage of people do you think are inconsiderate and selfish? 10%, 50%, 80% or more” what would you say… take time to answer that

if i ask, “are you inconsiderate and selfish?” what would you say? majority would say no. so, depending on your answer to the first question, are you saying YOU just so happen to be the outlier in every “positive” scenario? YOU? 

what’s your point, julius. my point is people lie to themselves all the time to protect their mind. people in your life know who you are and have accepted it (for the most part?). yet, we still lie to ourselves about ourselves. 

lying to ourselves creates a room to enter to deal with the discomfort that comes with honesty. it creates a room to enter when you’re not ready to fix yourself and do the work. reaction formation is a defense mechanism when one expresses the opposite of their true feelings. it happens all the time, but again, who would admit that? 

well, let’s see. how many people are hell bent on being right? raise your hand if that’s you. okay, raise your hand if you have apologized for tone, language, actions, thoughts, in the last week about something that has happened in the last week? or if an apology wasn’t necessary, just acknowledged you were wrong EVEN IN YOUR HEAD (NOT something that happened beyond seven days ago, this is limited JUST for the last seven days). people tend to feel out of control if they’re wrong. And “control” tends to come with being right. so, to be right all the time is to control the situation. control people. or just control of YOU. it’s about control. i’ll save my POV on that for a little later.

The Law.

how many times have you argued with someone on how to do things, but it’s based on how you grew up? how to load a dishwasher. how to eat with a certain fork. HOW HOW HOW. these arguments are based on rightness and wrongness. not to make their life happier. people in certain parts of the world don’t eat with forks, you’re gonna tell a whole culture they’re doing it “wrongly?” people in certain parts of the world have accents and don’t say the same word the same way, you’re gonna tell them they’re saying it “wrongly?”

it doesn’t make the other person’s life happier. but it makes someone in control. when you ask “WHAT” instead of “WHY” sometimes, it can lead to happiness. trying to figure out “why” to everything sets you up to personalize many actions and events. asking “what” allows you to leave it at that. “what is happening here?” lets you just decipher the moment. that’s it.

earlier i brought up laws that you were given and accepted. as a kid, you get laws. as an adult, you maintain those laws. the thing is you didn’t create the laws. someone else did. my way or the highway is how most people grow up. some parents gave their kids the Law of Rightness. there’s a right way to do something. period. so, when people interact with others, especially their significant other, people tend to determine that the Law of Rightness is more important than anything else. right matters. happiness, ehh.

My Answer

at the time of writing this, august 19, 2022, i have apologized or just simply admitted i was wrong, they were right OR i was wrong and came up on new information that corrected myself to three different people over the past five days. why? because i’m free. I’m free from being right and wrong. i’m happy. but i was raised to be happy, not right or wrong. 

also, i don’t have time to have the pride that disallows me to not be corrected. the position i put myself in is a position of knowledge to others. what does that mean? people count on me for certain information. i HAVE to self-correct. i HAVE to ask where i can better myself. i HAVE to double and triple check my sources before talking. i have the responsibility to not be lazy with information. i love it, by the way. there’s zero pressure on my end. there’s zero pressure in people hopping in my DMs asking questions or trying to get a better, deeper understanding on a stance/law/opinion/historical fact, etc. oh yeah. i can always say, “i dont know.” that’s the beauty. 

i used to be in a relationship with someone who declared the Law of Rightness before everything. i would tell her when things are good, she would choose disharmony. she had an obsession with drama; she thrived when things are rocky. of course, “no i don’t” was the response. but what was happening was me not caring about ANYTHING besides being happy, she and i vs. she strictly caring about being right at the expense of MY happiness.

today (same as it was when i was younger), i still choose happiness over not loading a blender the way the instructions suggest. i choose happiness over the “right” way to show up to an interview or church. choosing happiness has put me in many situations where others become happy or less stressed due to me being nonchalant. choosing happiness has put me in life changing relationships, friendships and positions. to go back to an earlier statement i made about asking “what” over “why,” has a bit of humor in it, if you know me. ask anyone, i’m big on asking “why.” why matters the most to me. why is the most important question to me. what doesn’t matter much. However, i can handle the why. ask those same people, they can tell you despite me getting to the bottom of it and going down rabbit holes, i accept differences. i’m happy.

so, the question would you rather be right or happy? is an easy one. i would rather be happy. being right means A LOT. i don’t want to act like it doesn’t matter… but for me, it matters very little when contrasted with being happy. being corrected means i learned something that i can pass on to someone else. i don’t feel out of control when being wrong. if i had been doing something a certain way for two decades, it’s fair to assume there’s comfort in doing it that way. it’s fair to assume the average person wouldn’t entertain the idea of another way because twenty years of something working is proof that it aint a problem. WRONG. doing something for twenty years has NO correlation to being right. It just means it’s been done for twenty years. if my dad taught me something and there’s an easier, more efficient way to do it AND it’ll inevitably make me happier, let’s get it. i might not like it at first. i might tell you kick rocks at first. but i will come around.

and outside of how i see life, my parents knew i would be a Black man. choosing happiness while being a Black man in a society that surveillances and police you at every step is hard, but necessary. being a Black man is a society that is naturally going to hate you is hard. choosing happiness is imperative because being Black is a sin. being Black is wrong.

and plus, in many situations, me being wrong means the world is in a better place than i thought. 

think about how you feel when you’re happy.

think about how you feel when you’re wrong.

think about how you feel when you’re right. think about the last time you had chosen to be happy and wrong.

seriously think about it… would you rather be right or happy?

One thought on “would you rather be right or happy?

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