The Right to be Wrong – Wise Words Wednesday

The Right to be Wrong – Wise Words Wednesday


“I believe that man’ noblest endowment is his capacity to change. Armed with reason, he can see two sides and choose: He can be divinely wrong. I believe in a man’s right to be wrong.” – Leonard Bernstein

This I Believe is a collection of personal philosophies. I am currently reading it and LOVE what I am reading. The history of This I Believe dates back to the 1950’s. The original This I Believe series asked individuals to write their philosophy and then share it on the radio. It was a huge sensation.

As I pour through the philosophies of tremendous individuals, both from the 1950’s and present, I am moved by the similar themes that continue to surface. Kindness, compassion, intelligence, and faith are key elements in all of the entries. Each of these traits requires us to grow and change. Our wrong choices set us up for opportunities to do just that. Grow. Learn. Change. Become better people.

As you encounter the mistakes of others and yourself, remember the right to be wrong is guaranteed to everyone. We cannot develop deeper understanding in our lives, if we don’t discover what works and what doesn’t.

Being wrong is different than being bad.

“Bad” equates to knowing something is wrong or hurtful and doing it anyway. “Wrong” simply means you didn’t have all the details you needed to fully reason when making your choice. “Wrong” creates opportunities to get what we need to make educated decisions. Even more importantly, the right to be wrong provides us with compassion for the learning processes of life.

Exude patience and compassion for those in your life as they exercise their right to be wrong. They are growing and learning from their mistakes.

Be nice to yourself as you commit wrongs or fall short in areas that you do not fully understand. It is your right to be wrong and grow from it.

I believe Mr. Bernstein was right when he shared this thought and I believe it is best supported when we help each other through our wrongs.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. You have got to check out This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women! (Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman  ISBN:978-0-8050-8087-2)

P.S.S. I am going to write more about what I learn from this book. A lot more!


7 thoughts on “The Right to be Wrong – Wise Words Wednesday

  1. Sounds very interesting and exactly the type of books I love to read, soooo, I’m putting it on my list in Goodreads (that’s so I don’t forget) Great post, we can all learn to better our selves if we really choose to and that could be the hardest part…actually wanting to.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Even more importantly, the right to be wrong provides us with compassion for the learning processes of life.” This statement is huge. It’s compassion borne of humility, something in short supply and oh, so needed. And as you stated, includes compassion toward our own mistaken selves!


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