Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

RIGHT VS WRONG, GOOD VS BAD

           One of the most difficult concepts to let go of as we trudge the path of happy destiny are the notions of right and wrong and good and bad. This goes even deeper to the act of judging what we perceive. We perceive an event, and our mind/ego jumps to assumptions or conclusions that judges the event as “right”, “wrong”, “good” or “bad.” This can be a major cause of confusion and suffering, especially when someone challenges our judgment.

When I was a trial lawyer and someone came in for a divorce, the first question I would ask is “would you rather be happy or right?” Luckily for my pocket book, most of them wanted to be right, or at least to prove their spouse wrong. Being right is an expensive proposition and many times does not result in happy endings. I also used to have a framed cartoon on the wall in my office that depicted a naval officer clinging to a piece of flotsam with ships sinking all around them. His fist was in the air and he was yelling, “We’ve won! We’ve won!” The only divorces which I recall being successful were the ones that the couple had already decided on how to split their assets and agreed on a parenting plan for their children. They only wanted me to put it in writing.

People who can’t agree on major issues or come to a mutual resolution of major issues are in for much pain and suffering. The biggest impediment to a successful dissolution of a partnership (of any kind) is the fear that someone will not get what he or she deserves. It is amazing to me how shortsighted people can become when they are experiencing fear. They want to fight over everything and don’t want to compromise. That is fine with lawyers and exactly what they want to hear as they collect their large retainers and start billing by the hour.

The only solution is love. Think about what the other person needs before your own needs. When I was divorced (for the second time), I was bound and determined not to make a fight out of it and give my spouse whatever she wanted. The problem sometimes is that is not enough. Every offer was rejected without a counter offer. As a result, we went through five years of litigation and she eventually got less than what I offered. Sometimes we just have to be brave and send love to people who can’t feel it and not resent their ignorance.

When we feel like we have to fight to be “right” or “good”, we probably will at some point question the wisdom of that position. Sometimes we don’t have a high enough perspective or enough information to understand that we are fighting for an illusion. History teaches us that point in tragic ways. Germans still harbor huge guilt over the atrocities of WWII. The Middle East continues to create orphans and catastrophe after catastrophe over who is right. The United States has made a battlefield out of the world in the name of national security.

The biggest problem is we have delusions about what is right and what is wrong. Bertrand Russell once said, “I will never die for my beliefs. I might be wrong.” The perception of what is right and wrong is constantly changing. I am sure that in the far future people will shake their heads over all of the pain and suffering the battles over marital rights, race, religion and abortion have caused in this country. It was not too long ago that belief about right and wrong regarding segregation caused bloodshed and death.

I hope that one day we can open our hearts and minds to the proposition that there is no right or wrong or good or bad. There is only karma. We eventually learn what is best for us, even though it may take a few hundred years. These days karma seems to be coming quicker and the consequences of our actions hit us almost immediately. No one is getting away with anything anymore. Even the illuminati will have to face their karma at some point.

I don’t want to be right. That is a double-edged sword that could mean that I am wrong. I want to be kind, considerate, loving, compassionate and patient. I want to embrace everything. I want all people in all of the worlds to be happy. The first place to start is to eliminate judgment and increase compassion. I hope it is in time.

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