No matter what the issue there always seems to be two opposing sides, but which one is right? Being on the right side is important. Here’s how you can determine which one is right more clearly.
Two Opposing Sides
There always seems to be two opposing sides to everything. It doesn’t matter what. Should anyone be able to drive a car or should we take a test to make sure you’re qualified? Is the Earth flat or is it round? Does the Earth revolve around the sun or is it the other way around?
Believe it or not, these are issues in which there are two sides. You can pretty much choose any issue and there will be two sides to it. Some don’t really matter like: “is Raising Arizona the best Nicolas Cage movie”? Others matter a lot like: “is there a highly contagious disease and should we take precautions”?
When it comes to the important issues, being on the right side is just as important. So how do you know when you’re on the right side? Here are a couple ways to tell.
What’s the Purpose?
When you are on a particular side of an issue, what’s the reasoning behind it? Here are a few pitfalls to know your purpose might be a bit off:
- Ego: You’re either so engrained in a position that you’d look foolish to change or holding onto a particular view makes you feel smart. But holding onto the wrong position doesn’t make you right or even smart. Doing the right thing, however, even when it’s challenging, is the brave thing to do.
- Fear: You’re afraid of what others will think or the consequences of holding an opposing view. Being on the right side can be scary, but it’s always more important to do the right thing than the easy thing.
- Status Quo: “It’s just the way things have always been”, “that’s how I was raised”, etc. We used to think cigarettes were healthy, a balanced diet was equal parts meat, dairy, grains, and fruits and veggies, and slaves were okay. Everything should always be re-evaluated in light of new evidence.
Who Does It Serve?
Not very long ago I asked the question “who are you fighting for?” This can be a key to discovering whether you are on the wrong side of things.
- Me: Is it self-serving? Is it in service of my ego?
- Power: Does it focus on maintaining a power structure that’s unjust?
- Deceit: Does this position require secrecy, trickery, or deception? If all the cards are on the table, does it suddenly seem unappealing to most or even yourself?
Instead, if you want to be on the right side of things, ask if it’s focused on the following:
- Others: Is it focused on the needs of others?
- Justice: Is it about equity and fairness?
- Truth: Is it about truth?
Being on the right side is not always easy, but it makes the world better. If you want a better world, check yourself. Make sure you are doing the right things to be on the right side.