When we use these four simple words we let go of defending our position without declaring the other person to be correct.
We are simply stating that it is a possibility (even if we consider it to be very remote) that he/she could be right.
Resistance decreases when we speak these four small words. It’s as if the wind is taken out of the argument. For when we admit the possibility of the rightness of the other person’s position, what more could be said?
Perhaps something like “You’re darn tootin’ I am!”
To which we can again reply, “You may be right.” That is, if we keep our senses about us.
It’s vital to ask ourselves what we really seek in any conversation with another. What is most important? “Do we want to be happy or right?”
Do we want to alienate the other so that we can feel vindicated, righteous?
How attached are we to being right?
My husband and I found the phrase “You may be right” a valuable tool when we seemed to be at loggerheads with each other, both sure we had the clear picture and what was correct.
It slowed us down and brought some spaciousness into our conversation, and opened us to a wider view.
It’s remarkable what happens when we sincerely admit that just perhaps there might be some “rightness” in the other’s way of seeing.
By pausing and slowing down my husband and I could both remember how often the things we thought so vital were actually not as important as we had believed.
What felt really good was that neither of us had to give up any ground. It was a matter of remembering our commitment to listen to each other.
A turning point is reached when we can grant space for the other person’s view.
Admitting that not one of us knows the real truth, the whole truth is a first step of backing away from a power struggle. We only know our view, which by its nature is limited to the area in which we are acquainted. It is a view after all. It’s where we are standing right now.
But others stand in their views also. We need open discussion about these different ways of seeing so that relationships can flourish.
By admitting that perhaps we’re both right, we are allowing for diverse views which can bring more abundance to all of us.
Every soul on the planet has gifts to give, showing us life from many different vantages. When we can discuss issues without judging the other person wrong, perhaps we can begin to see some value in their ideas. This enlarges, not diminishes, us.
Even lies have been known to contain a degree of truth hidden in them, however deep we must go to find them. For we only lie when we are afraid of the truth. Lies are a cover up for the truth.
Human values and political issues are often heated subjects as they are based on relationship, and relationships are tricky. We get so entangled in our own opinions we forget that we are more alike than we are different.
We all have similar basic needs—food, water, air, clothing, shelter and others to share it with—community.
I find life becomes easier when I remember that we are all little children trying to find our way home.
We need each other or we’ll all be lost—and often help comes from unexpected sources. Inclusivity brings new life. Exclusivity denies life, for it squeezes so tight and narrow that nothing can survive. Life must flow freely.
We are stronger together, for none of us can exist for any length of time alone.
Underneath our skin and within our bones is a flow of energy that connects every living thing. This connecting, flowing energy is here within us every instant. It’s the very tissue and fiber of the universe.
When we are aware of this flow of oneness we couldn’t possibly declare ourselves to be the one and only person that sees any issue clearly. And we wouldn’t make war with each other. Arguments are a form of war.
To be so certain of our opinions is very unstable ground as we can’t accurately know all that is happening throughout our world, and certainly can’t predict the future.
Living together with so many people we must make space for each of us to have the right to a diverse opinion. It’s vital to find ways to live together in spite of our differing opinions. Or more accurately, because of them.
I believe it is possible that we may all be right—in some way. Let’s make space for it.
As we keep speaking and listening to each other, with skillful respect, something new can take place. There is dignity for everyone.
As a result something more beautiful may develop than we had dreamed was possible.
So, for myself, I’m going to do my best to remember this slogan, “Perhaps we’re both right” each time I encounter someone with a different view or opinion (even if I have to bite my tongue) so that we can all find our way home.