This article was written exclusively for Steemit!
One thing I love about Steemit is how authentic everyone is, so for this post, I want to highlight one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my years of involvement in media activism: Being wrong and being able to admit it it is a valuable tool in our mission to spread freedom and foster peace.
Let’s back up first for some context. If you take a look at the internet and even real life — especially when it comes to politics — people display an obsessive need to be right. It isn’t about being kind or compassionate or truly connecting with people and understanding their goals… it’s about being RIGHT and proving that someone else is an idiot for having a different opinion.
If you watch some of my earliest videos, I’m totally guilty of this. After moving past my Obama-obsessed statism, I was proud and emboldened to speak my new truth, and I thought that if I just gave people the right information, regardless of how I presented it, they’d agree with me (lol).
To my surprise, it turns out some people don’t like being lectured or spoken to like they’re stupid or being scolded by someone who thinks they’re enlightened.
The first time I tried admitting I was wrong on a major scale was with my Obama blowtorch video (which, coincidentally, was my first viral video), and I simply laid it out there.
I messed up, I didn’t do my research, and I ended up contributing to the installment of a war monger and corporatist. When I made that video, I (of course) had people insulting me and blaming me for ruining the country. Others remained stuck in the two-party system and assumed I had simply become a Republican.
¯\ _(ツ) _ /¯
You win some you lose some.
But I also had many people (and to this day still have them) who tell me they also felt duped, that they felt the same disappointment and betrayal that I had, and that they appreciated me acknowledging it. I’ve found this creates a connection that makes people far more willing to listen to new ideas on freedom, including solutions, than screaming at them for being stupid (much like many commenters have done to me).
As it turns out, I actually love admitting my errors.
I enjoy and value being vulnerable because it allows me and others to drop our egos and entertain the reality we may not have all the answers. If I can be open about my previous mistakes, it makes it okay for others to consider that perhaps they have held ‘incorrect’ beliefs, as well.
We live in a society where certainty is valued and where, as voters, we assume we know what is best not only for ourselves but for hundreds of millions of other people (*if not billions of people, considering the United States government has a far-reaching global empire).
Though it often feels invigorating to be right and it allows us to feel superior and smart and accomplished (believe me, I still like feeling right!), I no longer think that’s necessarily the best tactic to create a world where humans value each other and respect each other. It is great for ego validation, but not as empowering when it comes to actually changing the paradigm.
In fact, in my opinion, the admission that we don’t know everything or aren’t always correct goes along far better with anarchism and libertarianism than assuming we have all the answers. It is because we don’t have all the answers that we should reject centralized, violent authority that assumes the power to control us all. We fundamentally don’t have the right to tell others how to live their lives, and most of the time, we also don’t have the knowledge or expertise.
Then again, I could be wrong, and I’m okay with that. Let me know in the comments! Peace!