Being Wrong

I got in an argument when I was a kid about whether a certain plant was poison ivy. I was certain it was a Trillium that was not yet flowering.  “So rub your face in it!” was her response.  I did. I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.

We all hate finding out we are wrong.  We might enjoy the humiliation of someone else, especially a blow hard being proven wrong or laugh at the slap-stick that a wrong premise can lead a character to repeat over and over. We recognize it because we have all known that often uncomfortable realization.

The thing about being wrong, as Kathryn Schulz author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error” points out, it feels just like being right. Until we find out we are wrong we can feel pretty good.

Then, after we realize we are wrong we might continue to act as if we are right because we think we have too much to lose by making such an admission.

On the other hand we can believe that they are so wrong we have to bring them to justice, or to the court of public opinion, or just remind them, frequently. We can even feel pleasure from this punishing of others for their stumbles. It is unfortunate because we will be wrong again too.

Being wrong is part of being human. How a character in a fiction deals with the realization and all its ramifications can drive a story but in real life, it is an opportunity for us to learn and grow as a human being, and in real life we get lots of opportunities. Lucky thing because learning to be an adult human being is what your all too human life is about. It really is.

 

Planet Word

my lovely daughter all grown up!

She still likes to read!

One of the great things about raising kids in Ottawa (and even small town Ontario) is that even if you are poor you have access to books. We had a television but to get more than one channel someone had to stand on the back of the couch holding up a metal clothes hanger attached to a wire attached to the back of the set.  We read a lot.

I am happy to say that all three of my adult children read constantly.  I don’t even think going to school is as important as learning to read and then to navigate a library index.  This is something I have to thank my parents for too.  I grew up seeing people reading. My father went to the library every Saturday and always picked out several novels.  I liked picture books. Dr. Seuss was my favourite. I struggled to learn the rules and no other rule breaker could make me laugh the way he could.

I was a quiet kid but learned to love words.  And my love of words started in the community library’s children’s section.

Oh and just a quick mention:  I am watching “Fry’s Planet Word” on TVO and loving it!