On Being Right….


Him: You always think your opinion is correct.

Me: Well, of course I do. Why would I choose to have an incorrect opinion?

I had the above conversation, and similar ones, repeatedly during a marriage that ended after twenty years. It ended, ultimately, because he was wrong, and I could prove it.  But that is not the point I’m trying to make here.

Hello, my name is Diane, and I am a right fighter. I am trying to recover, but just like with other addictions I know it will be a battle I will have with myself until I die. I’m getting better, but the internal struggle is as strong as ever.

Right fighting is also like other addictions in that it gives me a little high during the fight, a short-lived buzz after a win, shame after a loss, and then guilt either way.  It also causes broken relationships and wrinkles.

I’m a flawed person, to be sure. But Jesus really loved flawed people, so I’m in good company there.  I pray and meditate regularly about this. Depending on the issue, I consult with spirit guides at my disposal, Mom, Daddy, my grandparents, or Sean (my heart dog who left his body in 2016). Learning to reach out to these guides provided to me by my Creator, has been critical in my personal growth.

As I have matured, my ability to appreciate another person’s opinion has increased somewhat, because my willingness to be curious and actually look at the other person’s point of view has improved.  What I’ve realized along the way is that it is OK to change my mind. That is why we have minds and not computer chips. I don’t need to stick to my original opinion, on principle, if there is evidence to prove that I might have been … wro- … mista- … erro-… uh, previously misinformed.

There is no shame in agreeing, for example, that Steve Miller Band has recorded some pretty catchy tunes, while still holding strong to my opinion that the lyrics seem to have been written by a 5 year old boy. As a fan of the written word, lyrics carry more weight for me than tunes. Thus, Steve Miller Band sucks. This is one case of my opinion just being my opinion, and not fact.

As you can see, I’ve come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. I can more easily manage my responses to another person’s opinion, but I may never kill the internal response to an opinion that differs from my own. However, there are a few issues that I believe have so much gray area, like the aforementioned musical group, that I can usually let them go.  

Here is a short and incomplete list of things I once argued about, but no longer will waste my time on, in no particular order:

  • How towels and fitted sheets are folded.
  • Whether pasta dishes and casseroles need a side dish other than bread.
  • Carbohydrates.
  • Party politics.
  • Tastes of any kind (literary, musical, culinary, creative, and wardrobe).
  • If owners of a certain breeds of dogs had the right to shave them (yes, I used to argue that).
  • Religion.
  • Brands.
  • How and when men should wear socks.
  • The superiority (or lack thereof) of any athletic team on which none of my grandchildren are playing.
  • Whether the Sonic drive-thru should be used to order food.

This isn’t to say I don’t have strong opinions on the above topics (pasta stands alone), I will just no longer argue about these things. True story: Me, 15 years ago, yelling out my window, “What? Were you raised by aliens??? For the love of all that is just and holy!!! Pull up to the kiosk and order your food. I will give you three dollars for the tip!” I have medical insurance now, so I can seek treatment for the stroke caused by keeping my window rolled up and remaining silent while the soccer mom in the car ahead of me orders combo meals for the entire team.

In my opinion, one can argue about things of global importance without losing her soul. Thus a short list of things I continue to argue about because I am convinced of my rightness and their importance (also in no particular order):

  • The environment. Don’t get me started because I will not shut up about plastic bottles, trash, overuse of fossil fuels, pollution, the condition of our oceans, deforestation, distinction of species, all of it. We only have one planet, and we are ruining it every day with our selfish indulgences.
  • Whether global warming is a thing. It is a thing, get over yourself. Yes, this topic has to do with the environment, but it is so important that you know that global warming is a thing it needed its own bullet point.  
  • Alternative energy sources. We need more research dollars going into how to turn solar and wind into practical choices for energy, not into where we are going to drill for oil next. These resources are available to us, but they are in no way perfect. Oklahoma has been the hub of the oil and gas industry since the industry started. But the oil will run out. The sun and wind in Oklahoma, however, are infinite. It is ridiculous not to perfect their uses.
  • Lawns. I’m getting better, but this triggers me from time to time. I mean why should I care that my neighbor is spraying her lawn with a weird blue substance ? Live and let live, right? But that’s not what she is doing!  She’s killing and that poison is leaking into my water. Also, why would someone kill something as lovely and beneficial as clover and dandelion, to grow Bermuda grass which has no benefit at all? Neighbor lady, why do you need a lawn that looks like a golf course, you don’t even play golf!
  • Big Ag. They pretend to be farmers, but they aren’t. They don’t care one whit about the land, the animals in their care, the quality of the food they produce, or us, their consumers. They care only about one thing… money. They produce genetically modified food from genetically modified plants and animals, making us sick in the interest of convenience and cost. To the benefit of whom, I wonder? (See next).
  • Big Pharm. Come on, they don’t really want us to get well. They need us to stay sick so I can continue to by their products. In the meantime, they will make us feel slightly better than we did, so we can live longer and continue to buy their products.
  • THE OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE AUTHORITY. Probably all turnpike authorities, but this one is threatening my home. I don’t mean my actual house is in danger, but my home, the community I live in, the water here, the natural resources, the wildlife and the people who live here. They have been given ultimate authority to just take whatever they want and mow over the rest. It must be stopped, or the Oklahoma we know will be no more. The majority of Oklahomans neither want nor need a turnpike but yet, it is being forced upon us.

Ok, I’m done for now. I need to finish up or miss yoga class.  Interesting how an essay on being a recovering right fighter morphed into an essay on things I will fight to the death about.  But such is the struggle of a right fighter in recovery. It never ends. Do I think my opinion is correct on these topics? Of course, I do. Why would I choose to have an incorrect opinion?

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