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Answers and questions

There are at least two kinds of people: Those that have more answers than questions and those that have more questions than answers.

Given that most things are complex, few things have simple answers and each one of us is an expert in even fewer things, it’s hard to believe that any one person would be able to have definitive answers on many things.

People who have many answers tend to confuse answers with opinions and decisions. They tend to believe that their opinions and their decisions need to be right.

They don’t.

It’s perfectly ok to have an opinion even if you don’t know all the answers. It’s perfectly ok to decide what to eat, where to go, or what to say even if you don’t know all the answers. It’s probably even required in most situations because we hardly ever have all the knowledge that it takes to find the right answer.

But that’s ok. We can have an opinion and still acknowledge that there might be a different truth that we don’t fully grasp. Or that we just don’t know enough about, yet. We can always adapt.

It’s when we insist on being right all the time that we have stopped getting it right. Being right is hardly ever the point though. Working hard to be right leads discussions to become fights.

The world would be a much nicer place if we took opinions for what they are, if we admitted that we don’t know much about most things, and that getting it right is often a more helpful posture than being right.

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