I Was Wrong
Several years ago, I heard a quote, attributed to George R.R. Martin: “Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.” Isn’t that the truth? Rarely do you ever hear someone say, “Today, I was a real asshole for, when I think about it, no good reason.” Instead, everyone is put-upon, downtrodden, the little guy, the victim, the ONLY one who stands up for right and justice in a world firmly opposed. And that’s so annoying, guys!
Truth is, that sometimes the most beautiful thing you can say is, “You know what? I was wrong.” No defenses, no bullshit excuse, no, “I may have been wrong, but you were way wronger.” Just a simple, “Hello. I was wrong.”
Because, guess what? We’re all wrong sometimes. Sometimes it’s factual, like insisting that the “butter” at AMC movie theaters is real butter, and not palm oil. And continuing to insist that you’re right, even in the face of much internets. Sometimes it’s the way you treat someone, like not listening to someone, or not being considerate of their feelings. Sometimes it’s actions, like cutting someone off in traffic, or being mean. We are all wrong in so many ways, at so many times.
Politicians are famous for never being wrong. Instead, it’s, “My position has evolved over time,” or, “My family has convinced me to look at this differently.” My absolute favorite is, “My position was taken out of context.” Imagine a world where a politician could say, “So, a year ago, I said that the body has ways of preventing pregnancy in the case of rape. Clearly, I was wrong about that, and furthermore, I am an asshole. Just wanted to put that out there. My apologies, women, rape victims, and everybody else. I was wrong, wrongdee wrongdee wrong on that one.”
Imagine if you lived in a world where you could say to your spouse or loved one, “When I said that thing to you, I was wrong,” without saying, “But you started it,” or, “And now you need to tell me what you were wrong about.” Just flat out own your own shit, and not worry about anyone else owning theirs.
Imagine if you lived in a world where you could say to your child, “I just treated your father like shit right in front of you because I was being a dick. I was wrong. That was wrong. I’m sorry.” Imagine how un-fucked up we could actually make our kids if we just admitted when we were wrong.
Imagine if you lived in a world where you could say, “You know what? I judged you before I knew you because you were black/old/overweight/Mexican-looking/female/autistic/whatever, and I’ve done that to a lot of people. I was wrong.” You can’t change a damn thing until you admit what it is that needs to be changed.
And I’ll tell you what, I’ll start: This morning, my key card wouldn’t work on my work garage, so I yelled, “MOTHERFUCKER” as loudly as I could with the window down. Friends, I was wrong. While I very much enjoy yelling, “Motherfucker,” it’s inappropriate at work, especially at that volume.
Wow, I feel so much better!