Monday, May 23, 2011

On being wrong: I err therefore I'm human

TED Talks are just great. I recently advised someone who didn't know the talks to watch one or two videos every time she was uninspired. They're a great source of inspiration to me.

Just watch this video On being wrong by Kathryn Schulz. This is such a hard and important topic. It's one of the things we learn not to do much as soon as we go to school. After finishing college and university we know for sure: failure is not an option.

But it is an option. We know so deeply as well. And if we're in the right context at school, at work and in our families we embrace failure. Trying and not succeeding is essential for learning, for building experience and knowledge. About life in general and about our passions especially.

Because we don't and can't know everything. That's one of reasons I like social media so much. Social media done right helps us share the things we know, find interesting, but also share our questions and doubts. By being open about our knowledge and questions we give others the opportunity to build on them, learn, help us, pick us up after being wrong and encourage us to go on.

Realizing your wrong is not the same a being wrong, says Schulz. And it's only human to err. She quotes Augustine: I err therefore I am. (This statement has to do with Augustines acknowledgement of man being sinful, by the way. Not a popular concept these days...)

Schulz challenges us to take life as it comes: it surprises us, astonishes us, it turns up differently than we expect. We should rediscover wonder (- it keeps me going!). We should listen more and say we were wrong more often. (Refer to Jan van Veen's good post about the importance of listening.)

So, let's encourage each other to fail more. It's a priviledge.
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