Being correct and stuck behind a bus

The school bus was stopped and even though the lights were flashing, the door was not opened and the driver side "stop sign" was not out. It was not clear if the bus was waiting for a student or if there was even a driver at the helm. What was clear was that we were all stopped behind this bus. 

We waited there for a while when the driver between me and the bus threw her hands up in the air and looked in her rearview mirror as if to say, "I don't know what to do. I know the five cars behind me are waiting for me to act, but I don't know what to do!" 

Sensing her angst, I looked right at her. I began to nod my head while I gave her a thumbs up with my right hand and a gesture with my left hand motioning to go around. It was okay. Go around the bus. 

Once she as the lead car was went around the bus we could all see the driver was not on board. I could also see the driver in front of me giving me a thumbs up which I interpreted as "Thanks."

This is what happens when we put being correct over being connected.

Many times we are in our little bubbles isolated from one another and just sort of stuck, not going anywhere. We all know that it is correct to not go around a school bus and so we don't go around the bus. We are correct. Stuck and not going anywhere, but correct.

This is the dilemma that I feel like I am in most days. There are people that are hell bent on being correct. Politicians say they are correct while pointing out others are not correct. Fundamentalists (religious and secular) point out they are correct and argue for others to "look at the facts". The journey after truth is so rampant in our time that, frankly, I grow tired of it. 

We are all think we are correct. We all have our sources that support and validate our positions. We all think others who don't see like us are not correct and they need to be converted. So we argue, debate and yell our points thinking that if only we could convey our correctness (and our correct supports) then others will join us.

When was the last time you were convinced by a debate? When was the last time you were swayed to change your mind when you were in an argument? When was the last time you gave way to the other's point of view and adopted it as your own when there was yelling? 

Frankly, I am much more interested in being connected than being correct. When you seek out connection and when you are connected with others you are at your most influential and it is also, in the greatest bit of irony, the time when you no longer are looking to influence people to your point of view. 


Maybe we are just standing wrong

When I go the ocean I notice there are two kinds of people. There are the people who in the waves and look out over the vast ocean. They see the waves come in and they take in the greatness of the ocean and they seem to get a sense that they are very very small. Standing looking at the ocean is humbling and we are awestruck when we do. It is important to look at the ocean and face the mystery of the sea. But facing the ocean also comes at a price. You miss seeing the beauty of the land behind you. Which brings me to the other type of person I see at the ocean. 

These folk stand in the waves and turn their back to the ocean and look at the magnificent beach and skyline of the land. It is amazing to see how the earth's features seem to be shaped by a carpenter's plane. The roughness of the rocks that shape the shore become smooth and those same rocks are now tiny specks wedged in between their toes as sand. The sound of the ocean behind and the breeze at their back they take in the great beauty, but turning your back on the ocean comes at a price. You miss seeing the great mystery of the ocean behind you. Which may be why many people prefer to face the ocean. 

But when we stand in the ocean and face the shore or the sea, we put ourselves in a position of great vulnerability. Not only do we miss the other half of life when we choose a direction to face, but when your shoulders are parallel to the waves you are susceptible of being knocked over by the waves.

Being knocked over by the waves of life is perhaps rooted in the way we stand, our posture. Which may be why so many religions talk about having or taking a good posture. If our natural inclination is to either face the ocean or the shore, the spiritual life teaches us to turn our posture so we are 90 degrees - able to see the sea and shore. This is also a posture we are more able to take the one coming waves without being knocked over.

We do not turn our back on that which we know (the shore) and we do not turn our backs on that which we do not know (the sea). We take the posture of being able to see both the known and unknown.