The Importance of Being Right

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Having seen two long-term members get banned recently, I was inspired to write this blog post. Some people just fail to see the other view-point, and cannot let go of being right.

A short Zen story illustrates the danger of being attached to being right.

Two monks were arguing. One maintained that it was vital to believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist, the other maintained that it was unnecessary, that one could understand the Dhamma only in the present moment.

The first went and asked the abbot whether it was essential to believe in rebirth. The abbot replied, “Yes you are right.” He was pleased with himself, and told the other monk what the abbot had said.

The second went to the abbot and asked whether one could understand the Dhamma only in the present moment. The abbot replied, “Yes you are right.”

When the second monk came out, the two monks argued again, each saying that the abbot had told him he was right. So they went in together, and each said to the abbot, “You said I was right. We can't both be right.” The abbot thought for a while, and then replied, “Yes, you are right!”

That's the way it is with most human beings — they are strongly attached to their own view and fail to see things as others see them. Anyone who is not personally involved in the debate can clearly see what the real problem is, but those who think they're right cannot see that they are wrong.

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