Just a reminder and for the new “reader.” From January 24, 1989 – December 21, 2021, I taught music in public / private schools. Most of the time was at high school. I loved it – until I got tired of not being allowed to be me, lack of due process (which includes facing your accuser) or the “students are always right.” If you want to know the explanation, please read it. https://conductingmylife.com/explanation-of-retirement/
Today is Day Eighty-Four without a job. Even though the government and its media shares great data about the jobs market, not everyone has a job who wants a job. Do not believe everything you hear and/or read. Hence, it’s okay being wrong.
My 23rd or 24th application to be a school administrator led to my first-ever job interview. My first ever interview for a position to be an administrator was on February 15, 2022. I know part of the problem of not getting an interview is I don’t stay long enough at school districts to make the connection needed to get an interview or being taken seriously for administration. Fine arts teachers are seldom administrators. Nonetheless, I did get this interview and one of the reasons? I know the CEO of the school. This fact gives credence to my belief in the power of relationships.
At this interview was this question, “Mr. Everts, can you tell us the definition of truth?”
“Well, I see truth as having two sides. When a parent comes to a meeting with me, the parent has their truth. I have the teacher’s truth. We then will find THE truth.”
“Interesting. So, you see truth as being relative, not concrete?”
Thought to myself, oh, this is where the conversation is going.
I answer, “If you are asking me if there is factual truth, such as, one plus one equals two, then YES. There is factual truth.”
He then responds, “Okay. When a parent comes to you – using your one plus one equals two – and says, one plus one is seven-point-five. How are you going to handle that?”
“Great point. I know the fact one plus one equals two. I would respectfully ask the parent to show me how you (the parent) arrived at that conclusion, especially considering there are so many pieces of evidence that say otherwise.”
The conversation on “what is truth?” lasted for darn near five minutes.
The person asking the question ended his part of the conversation with, “You want to validate that person’s version of the truth.”
I simply answered, “Yes. Of course. I want the person to know I listened to their understanding of the truth.”
I ended the Socratic discussion on what is truth with, “To the six of you on the interview panel, if you want to know what THE truth is, my truth / my moral compass is in the Bible. Now, if I am allowed to say that to people on this campus, I will be more than happy to inform folks the Bible is my moral compass. You are interviewing me, and it is important for you to know how I think.”
Needless to say, my one and only interview to be a school administrator led to a “no” — forty-six days later.
I was hurt. Since my first official day of retirement (January 11, 2022), it was another ‘no’ for a job. However, every no is a yes to GOD. I really believe because HE wants me to focus on being a coach / trainer / speaker for wonderful information for others (and me) to become better people, God is shutting doors!
I also learned (and did not know this at the time), it’s okay to be wrong. I was wrong for the position of being a school administrator. Even though, I know who I am and know that I would do all I could to make the decision to hire me the correct decision, I was wrong to be an administrator for that school and possibly, for any school. It’s okay to be wrong.
We need to teach people this ancient philosophy (certainly I am not a decent philosopher): AN OPINION CAN BE WRONG WHILE THE TRUTH CANNOT BE WRONG. I know! Your mind is blown away!
Our nation is seeing relationships ending at a rapid rate, in part, because one person in the relationship needs to… NEEDS TO… be correct and make sure their opinion is deemed the truth. When in actuality, an opinion can be wrong / inaccurate. Even the courts have been wrong in their “opinion.” Reminder – the court gives the verdict as, “In the OPINION of …” It does not say, “In the TRUTH of …”
With a person close to us, if we are going to discuss issues such as politics, and I would go so far as to include religion, then be ready to admit … truly admit (I see what you did their, Paul) … that you are comfortable being – WRONG in the eyes of that person.
Yikes. I (the reader) must admit, “I am comfortable being wrong.” You don’t have to do anything. The only thing you must do is DIE. You and me dying is the only thing we must do, everything else is a choice. It’s the truth (Again, I see what you did there, Paul).
With folks, I am going to start doing this (I am comfortable being wrong) more and more.
Now, be careful with this new “tool.”
There are truths that you need to admit and defend. Going back to my interview. One plus one is two. Other truths for me: A woman is an adult female with XX chromosome. All Ten Commandments are real and following them – not at that immediate time will it feel that way – will be correct.
You need to have in your mind, “To keep my relationship / friendship, I need to accept that this important person in my life can be wrong. If I can be wrong, he/she can be wrong.” If this important person cannot accept your truth as your truth, then … it is time to find a new friend and if it is family – take a “time out.”
This (accepting the person thinks I am wrong; don’t prove my point) is going to take me some time. I admit being an “old dog.” I want to learn new tricks.
Please, also know, not every relationship / friendship needs to be saved. If you and/or the other person cannot be okay with this principle, “it’s okay to be wrong” then, go find another friend. Family relationships are different than friendships. You choose your friends, not your siblings / parents / cousins / etc. As I said earlier, “With family, take a “time out.”
In my series, “Now, what to do?” my answer includes the Bible.
Since 2008, I have chosen to be a better Christian. That choice to be a better Christian has led to losing many friends, and frankly, not gaining many new friends. I did not make the choice to be a better Christian in the hopes of losing or gaining friends. I made the choice to be a better Christian as a preparation to be ready to go to Heaven. Begin with the end in mind. I want to leave you with some Biblical thoughts on “opinions.”
- Romans 14:1 – As for the one who is weak in fain, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
- Galatians 1:10 – For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to pleas man, I would not be a servant of Christ
- Proverbs 18:2 – A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
- John 12:43 – For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
- James 1:19 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
- 1 Kings 18:21 – And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And teh people did not answer him a word.
- Hebrews 12:14 – Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the LORD.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – For god gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
In this article, I will go even so far as give you an article written by a known atheist and one who was an atheist and is now more agnostic. GREAT ARTICLE. Inspired me to write this for you!
From this GREAT ARTICLE:
One of the most malignant aspects of our culture is that it’s considered a virtue to “call out,” or correct, views with which we disagree. But this is usually the worst option, especially if you want to change someone’s mind or develop a friendship.
Letting people be wrong can initiate a revolution in your relationships. Few people like to be told that they’re wrong, and on many topics—say, your neighbors’ hot takes on immigration policy or homelessness—their utterly incorrect views are utterly irrelevant to your relationship.