I once heard someone say that he would rather cut off his right arm than say he’s sorry. It made a profound impression on me, and not in a good way. From that point on, it became a mark of good character to hear someone admit that he was wrong about something and say he was sorry.
A person who has to be right about everything and who can’t say he’s sorry, is someone who has a boatload of insecurities and lets his ego get in the way. This is someone to be pitied, rather than admired, because his know-it-all attitude will prevent him from having any close relationships.
No one can be right all the time about anything, the same way as no one knows everything about anything. These are such absolutes that it would be impossible for any mortal to be, or to accomplish, no matter how smart he is or how much education he has.
Many years ago, I heard an interview with an Ivy League professor who was talking about one of his former students, a brilliant man, who was also a celebrity. He said that this man knew everything and that there was nothing he could teach him. I noticed that he didn’t say that there was nothing left for this man to learn, only that there was nothing that he could teach him.
We all have our failings and there isn’t one of us who is perfect unless, of course, we’ve achieved sainthood. But, if we had achieved sainthood, we wouldn’t still be alive on this planet; we’d be on a higher plane of consciousness and not in a mortal body.
There are very few things I’ll fight to the death for; the other skirmishes I can let someone else win because they’re not really important. I remember when people used to argue about the moon looking like Swiss cheese. It turned out that everyone was wrong, no matter how well-educated they were. Of course, this was also in the years before NASA and space exploration.
But, truly, does it matter what we know or think we know to win an argument? Sooner or later, we’ll probably all be proven wrong and if I’ve hurt someone’s feelings from that argument, I’d rather say I’m sorry than let my ego destroy someone’s self-image.