1+1=2 yet goat+cheese=Goatcheese

Just because you are right doesn’t necessarily mean that I am wrong. When we accept this premise, life becomes easier and relationships more fulfilling.

1+1=2 yet goat+cheese=goatcheese. Stands to reason then that 1+1=11.  They say there is more than one way to skin a cat.  Same meaning, ultimately.  Just because your truth differs from mine, doesn’t make mine wrong and yours right or vice versa.  In most cases there are multiple truths.

Take medicine.  For some sickness there is only one cure, but for many others, there are multiple treatments available that have the same end game.  Cure the sickness.  One working doesn’t mean that the others don’t.

Life is like that too.  My path to health and happiness may differ from your path to health and happiness.  In reality, it probably is.  Like a fingerprint, all of our happy paths are different in some way or another.

What I find so frustrating is how many people I come across who don’t seem to understand this.  You being right doesn’t make me wrong.  How great is that?  We can both be right.

The trick then is learning how to accept, tolerate and next level up, understand points of view that are different from our own.  Accepting and tolerating is difficult enough, but the movement or possible solution lies in understanding.

What I have found along my journey is that many people take a lot of information as fact and face value.  For example, I was told in Myanmar that it was impossible to hire a small boat at the port to take me to the other side.  I was told this, after being cut off mid story, after having hired a small boat at the port to take me to the other side.

Just because we are told something doesn’t necessarily make it true.  Don’t touch the hot stove.  Many of us learned the hard way.  It’s what makes understanding others so difficult.

Your truth might be 1+1=2.  It is the easiest to understand.  But 1+1 also equals 11. It’s not wrong.  It’s an alternative correct answer.  Understanding how I got there may be difficult based on a different foundation.  For many, the alternative is just as easy to understand as the traditional.

This can be applied to pretty much anything that doesn’t involve harming others, and in some cases, it can be applied to that too.  The prime example being murder is wrong, but war is just.

Usually, conversations about life topics such as politics, religion and sexuality only go awry when one of the debaters defines themselves either too rigidly or in opposition of their opponent.  This means that one person is unable to see a different point of view.  That’s not how growth, change or solutions can be uncovered.

Whenever I find myself in one of these arguments, it feels like I am in purgatory.  Stuck on one of Dante’s levels of hell, in which I imagine I am in an endless volley.  Back and forth with no movement or change until the end of time.  When I recognize it, I end the conversation which presents me with a dilemma and sadness; a solution or compromise hasn’t been found.

I want to help.  I would like to be a voice of reason finding the path on the horizon that allows more people to pursue their happy path.  I try not to judge.  I just apply simple logic.  What harm will this do to me or others if it is someone else’s or my path to happiness?  In other words, am I doing more good than harm and do my actions directly hurt another.

Rigid thinkers do.  They can’t get past the fact that 1+1 can equal 11.  They view it as a wrong answer.  So I ask you to be honest with yourself and if you can’t get past 11, it may be time to revisit the foundation that allowed you to believe that.


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