Being different as opposed to wrong and right

the difference engine (c) Zach Stern

the difference engine (c) Zach Stern

As much as I would like people to agree with me, that is not what I am looking for when I write or talk about change.

Getting people with another point of view to collaborate with me and putting my ideas together with theirs into practice, that is a far more rewarding challenge.

When I taught Literature and Madness to senior arts students I never went for my own truth only. Of course I had ideas about the story I wanted to tell and I had texts and opinions I wanted my students to meet.

Yet every lesson was crammed with questions. Honest questions. The start of tiny adventures that could lead both the students and myself to thoughts I could never think of myself.

I have to admit I still find it hard to admit I am wrong. There were days when being wrong meant that I had to give up on myself, that being wrong was simply … well, not an option.

What makes it easier for me today to admit being wrong is that I have found that there is something far more important than my personal truth. I call it the meaning of our differences.

Every time I get it wrong, I learn something about the differences in this world. I learn something about relationships, about what is happening in between you and me. Like a mutual agreement of misunderstanding.

Complexity suggests that relationships between the parts are more important than the parts themselves.” These words come from Virginia Lacayo. She wrote them down in her article “When It Comes to Social Change, The Machine Metaphor Has Limits”, which appeared in the latest issue of Mazi, a magazine about social change.

We live in a complex world which means that the meaning of our world lies in the nature of our interactions, interactions with each other and with everything else that surrounds us.

As much as I like being right, and as much as I dislike being wrong, I still prefer being different. Only then I will keep asking questions. Only then I will remain genuinly interested in this world and in other people. Only then I will still be able to make the most of our differences.

Or in short: only then Iwill be able to live.

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