Is It Better To Be Right Or To Be Credible?
When I was younger I remember being right about a lot of things. I remember anxiously trying to articulate my thoughts in a way that adults would understand. However, it is common that when you are a child who can barely reach the counter no one will listen to you. Who knows? Maybe I was babbling wisdom that only made sense in the confines of my mind. Maybe I wasn’t babbling any wisdom at all. However, I do remember moments where I was undoubtedly right and yet not only did my voice go unheard, but I was also told that I was wrong. I am not referring to philosophy, I am talking about facts. For example, if I were to explain that, when mixed together, the colors blue and yellow make green someone, would oppose me. It is normal that someone would disagree. People disagree with facts all the time. What shocked me was how many people give up all reasoning and rather go along with someone who is credible than someone who is right, or even come to a conclusion for themselves. As a child, I understood at times why people would rather assume that I was wrong than learn for themselves, but as an adult it has turned into something much more profound than that. I have learned that in this world you must find a balance between being able to say what you want and being credible. My unrequited love for freedom will always have me play the fool. What many people don’t often see is the freedom that comes with insanity and foolishness. We as a society tend to confuse foolishness and insanity with stupidity. The difference between stupidity and foolishness is that one is often by choice, while the other is a hidden deformity. You have to be a little foolish to be able to get away with telling the truth. Thus I have perfected the part of the fool. I have given up some of my credibility for my freedom. Knowledge often comes with the price of insanity and being able to share your knowledge often comes with the price of being labeled a fool. Thus, you lose credibility. But it’s got me wondering, what is the point of being right if no one believes you?
I cannot recall how many times I have been told that I was wrong about things that are factual and can be looked up in a matter of seconds. For example, the fact that green tea has less caffeine than coffee itself or that the combinations on safe briefcases require three digits and not six. Countless times I have been faced with someone who appears to be right, but rarely is. Others take their words at face value and call it a day. This sounds like complete freedom at first glance. However, when you choose to be right all the time, you give up the freedom of being you. The you that is flawed and imperfect. Because in order to gain credibility in your everyday life you have to constantly shape your values to appeal to the masses and avoid saying anything that might disappoint, confuse or deter from your image.
So yes, there is a point to being right even if no one believes you. When you search for truth you find it and it takes a little bit of insanity to search for the truth in the first place, and a little bit more foolishness to have the guts to share it. I have a friend who is known for being unkempt, unruly and just plain senseless. At first glance you feel as if she has made some terrible choices, but over time you cannot help but respect her. Because she has shown the world all of her ugliness she now has complete freedom to be herself. This freedom will never be taken away. She can post a picture or thought without questioning what her coworkers or in-laws will think of her. She can say how she feels without questioning herself and she has given herself the freedom to trip constantly. To love her at all would be to love her unconditionally. She holds nothing back from the world and thus the world has no choice but to accept her. She is loved and she is free and has earned credibility. Her secret is self-respect and lunacy.
In writing this I have found the answer to my question. Is it better to be right than to be credible? My answer is to be both. The trick is that the only way to truly find a balance between freedom and credibility is to be so insanely you that no one dares to question. Life is all about perception and there are those who search for truth and those who don’t. But you will always be the expert in the truth you have worked hard to find. And even then there will be those who don’t believe you, but at least you have earned the freedom that comes with meticulous foolishness to tell them in your special way to fuck off.