WE NEED A WAY TO MEND differences, bring
people together, create harmony where now there's dissonance.
We need a way to bring people to agreement, countries into partnership.
And for you personally, maybe you would like a way to build a
greater sense of comradeship with the people in your life, to
repair broken relationships, soothe resentments, create cooperation.
There is a way. It is "spiritual"
and it is practical. You can read about it in one of the oldest
(and shortest) books of the human race: Tao Te Ching. Or you can read about it in
one of the best-selling books of all time: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
The way is to learn to skillfully handle
the human desire to be right.
You, me, everybody you have ever met or
will ever meet we all want to be right. More than that,
we feel we need to be right. We need to feel justified.
We need to feel that our ideas, our beliefs, our country, our
religion, our way of life we need to feel that these are
right, are better than any other, or that we are justified
in being the way we are.
That craving to be right is the main thing
that gets in the way of good human relations. Like the mad rush
of an avalanche, the "right-mechanism" can wash away
years of goodwill in a matter of minutes. It can separate people
like nothing else in this world.
The most powerful force for evil in the
world is people craving to be right (or justified or superior
or respected). And the most powerful force for good is the ability
to deal with people without arousing that need.
But this is one of the most difficult tasks
there is. Why? Because while you are dealing with that mechanism
in another person, you have to overcome the mechanism in yourself
at the same time, and sometimes that's an almost Herculean task!
There are many things that help. Meditation
helps, because it relaxes you and makes you less prone to tension
and anger which cause you to want to dominate and force and push.
Anything that makes you calmer will help. You are best able to avoid
getting your "I-must-be-right" hackles up when you
are calm to begin with. The more stressed you feel, the more
likely you are to feel you have to be right no matter
Another thing that helps and this
is expressed clearly in both Tao Te Ching and How to Win Friends and Influence People
is to never force anything or give the appearance that you're
trying to force anything, because it makes people feel
trespassed against. And it makes them try to defend their violated
The ability to handle that one aspect of
people their deep-seated need to be right is The
Way...the way to peace and harmony in the world, the way to bring
out the best in people, the way to go through your lifetime and
leave the world a better place than when you came.