Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"I'd Rather Be Right Than President"

A newer nurse at work today made several offhand remarks on matters of fact: that Catholics "don't teach about Limbo anymore," and that the "white light after-death experience has been recorded universally." Brief subsequent conversation revealed that she thought Limbo and Purgatory were the same thing, and has a book which illustrates that the white light experience is known in every culture in the world.

Ahem. Whether she wants to believe Catholic teaching about Limbo, or whether she herself believes in the validity of after-death experiences is not something I get exercised over. I have my opinions, I'll tell you my basis for them if you like, but I'm not going to volunteer them at work. With a person who is a Christian believer, I might take a more proprietary interest and approach them afterwards if they seem to hold a view that I think is not optional in the faith. But even there, I might not bother unless it came up again in a more private context.

But these were about statements of fact, not opinion, and I know the right answers. These things make me crazy.

I consulted with a warm-hearted friend at work, outlining the lack of success I had had with following my instinct in these matters and telling people "that's not true." (I am usually more polite to the point of indirection in saying such things - I don't duel with unarmed men or women.) Among the several bits of advice she had was to laugh and tell me "We have a saying in AA: 'Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?'"

Silly rabbit. I want to be right.

1 comment:

dilys said...

It's perfectly possible to be right and happy, as in pursuing virtue and wisdom. The sticking point is wanting others to see/agree you're right.