The art of making others wrong.

Updated: Mar 18, 2019


Michael Schaeffer

For some time I’ve been an artist and I didn’t even realize it. There’s a strong recurring theme that I paint in many scenes of my life. I’ve become aware of this well honed skill over the last year. It’s not new, it’s definitely been there for 37 years. It makes its appearance in many facets of my life. In a verity of moments, I paint others wrong so I can be right. Why the hell does this happen to me? I’ve put much consideration into this and here’s what I’ve come up with. In many aspects of the educational systems and methodologies we still use today are based in the Victorian Era. A system of education designed for the student to memorize facts and regurgitate them on command. The tricky part is in the “who” that’s delivering the facts. I only know and act from my own life experiences and interpret from those experiences my point of view. I create a perception of my rights and wrongs. My experiences become my perceived convictions. Or rather the things I’m willing to convict others over. If I were to ask you to memorize with repetition and regurgitate my facts or truths, you most certainly will be at the affect of my point of view. This is where my personal responsibility and the benefits of yoga kick in. Through the process of self inquiry, I’ve become aware of when I sketch out the landscape of my own self righteousness. It happens when I’m pushed into one of a handful of untruths I tell myself. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy”, “I don’t know enough”. I compensate for these abstract masterpieces of inadequacies I’ve created by standing firmly in my perceived truth. In many cases at the detriment of someone else’s truth. Everything has a cost. So I ask myself, what do I lose and what do I gain in a quest to be right? I’ve done the math. My gain? Perhaps a moment of self satisfaction. But the loss is much more severe. The loss is the disconnection it creates to others and throws up walls I can spray inflammatory graffiti on. The clean definition of yoga is to connect. In the act of making someone else wrong, wouldn’t I be doing the opposite of yoga? The original title for this piece was “stop making others wrong” but after much consideration, wouldn’t that title suggest to the reader, if you are making others wrong, wouldn’t I be making that person wrong for making people wrong? Before I drag us into a rabbit hole, I have something that has worked for me. I’m endeavoring to remove the “should and shouldn’t “, “do’s and don’t”, “the right way and wrong way” I’m erasing the comments of “you should do it this way or don’t do it that way, or this is the right way”. I’m changing my language to speak from the “I” and shifting from the “you” and the “we” to take ownership of my words as mine. Whether this is right or wrong it is neither here nor there. But I put it to you this week to try on a new language. What word choices, actions, and body language creates harmony and connection in life? Which create division? You tell me. Let’s talk about it this week. In love, Michael

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