Skip to content

Quote of the Week 8/29/11

by Ellen on August 29th, 2011

“Everyone wants to be right. But no-one stops to think if their idea of ‘right’ is right.”

Everyone wants to be right. As a species we have a desire to be correct, to do the right thing, to feel as though we are making the right choices and taking the right steps. When given a correction or a task by someone we perceive as important, we are eager to show that we understand and are willing to do it. Unfortunately, this eagerness nearly always manifests itself as “trying to be right.” When asked to perform a task, the instinctive response is to immediately try to do it “right” to satisfy the asker.

However, as we have already discussed on this site, one of Alexander’s main arguments is that we as a species can no longer be sure that what we think is “right” is actually right. Our general level of sensory appreciation has devolved to such an extent that whatever is habitual will feel ‘right’ to us, regardless of whether it actually is. This quote points out that unless we stop and make sure that our idea of “right” is actually right, all the effort in the world will be useless because it will be undertaken using a flawed premise. As every math student knows, if you copy the problem down wrong it doesn’t matter how long you work at it, you’ll never get the right answer. Before diving in, you must stop and make sure you’ve set the problem up correctly, and that your idea of “right” is right.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS