On Being Wrong and Being Human: Thoughts From a 6-Year-Old

Mar 10 2013

We were driving in the car when one of my 6-year-olds said something. Something wrong, according to his twin brother. They argued it out ’til the Wrong One acquiesced, at which point the Right One said, “In your FACE. BOOM!”

Now, look. I’m trying not to raise a brood of gloaters ’cause no one likes a know-it-all, right? I mean, no one. So I said, “Dude. When you’re right and someone else is wrong, you can totally say in your FACE, but only in your head and with the look in your eyes. Saying it out loud is not cool.”

But he was completely high from winning his last argument, so he didn’t believe me. I tried harder, “‘In your face’ is just not a kind thing to say, baby. How do you feel when you’re the one who’s wrong?”

“Well, I LIKE being wrong,” he replied.

And I rolled my eyes because oh, brother. “You like being wrong? You like being wrong. Oh, really?”

“Yes,” he said. And then he explained why. And then I pulled the car over, turned it off, got out my phone, pushed record, and had him repeat it all for you.

This is what he said:

[audio Why I Like Being Wrong ]

Transcript:

“OK. What did you just say?”
“Mm.”
“Do you like being wrong?”
“Um, yeah.”
“Why?”

“Because it’s just like being a human.”

“What’s just like being a human?”

“If you be wrong or if you be right.
If you forget or not forget.
You don’t know it or you do know it.
You make mistakes.
And that’s just like being a human.”

“Word, man. Nice work.”

Now, I know. I know we still have work to do on the in your face move. We still have things to teach on being compassionately correct. But you guys?

You guys.

Kids have truths we need to hear. This is one of them.

We spend part of our lives being wrong. That’s the nature of being human. And then we spend precious time after that feeling embarrassed or stupid or ashamed and reliving the moments of our wrongness in technicolor and surround sound. We berate and belittle ourselves for screwing up. Again. And then we rinse and repeat.

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But don’t we all need this reminder sometimes? That we don’t have to play the record of our wrongs in our heads? That we can love ourselves better than that? Bigger than that? Stronger than that?

What if we accept that being wrong is just part of it? Part of a whole life. Part of learning. Part of growing up. Part of accepting grace. Part of learning to love ourselves well so we can teach our littles to do the same. And that it’s even something to embrace?

If you be wrong or if you be right.
If you forget or not forget.
You don’t know it or you do know it.
You make mistakes.
That’s just like being a human.

I’m a human. And that’s OK.
That is, in fact, exactly what I was meant to be.
I am wrong, and I am right.
I forget, and I remember.
I don’t know, and then I do.
I make mistakes.
And when I do, I will learn to give myself grace.
In my FACE.

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……….

 image credits to Master isolated images via freedigitalimages.net