Eating A Yard Of Your Own Shit

Sometimes, your beliefs conflict with reality, and you have no choice but to do one of two things:

1) Admit you are wrong, or
2) Attempt to convince everyone else in the room that reality is wrong and you are right. 

I am extremely lucky. From the day my father adopted me, he drilled into my head that #2 is always insane. It will never work. It's the path of the weak person, sure. There's all that personal growth harmonic self awareness bullshit, but my father isn't exactly an introspective person who was focused on his path of personal development. He's a man who simply believes that bullshit is bullshit, and the sooner you shovel it and get it out of the room, the sooner everything stops stinking. 

Now, there's varying levels of taking responsibility. The first is when things are just flat out broken and need to be fixed. One of my father's personal philosophies is that you should take responsibility for things when they go wrong, even if you don't think they're your fault. You're not taking the blame. It's not about blame. In fact, it's never about blame. It's about realizing things are screwed up and deciding that someone needs to get them unscrewed, and if you are the one who stands up and raises their hand and says "It's on me," you're now in a position to do something about it. 

Then, there's admitting you were wrong. It's horribly distasteful and very difficult to do. But sometimes, there's just no getting around it: you said or did something that you have to apologize for. This is now about blame, and you blame yourself. You're not being a martyr, you're saying that you screwed up and now realize that your way of perceiving a situation isn't correct. This comes with the risk that people might question your judgement, or consider you stupid. But who is more stupid, the person who can see the error of their ways, or the person who lets belief they are correct stand in the way of what's right?

Now, eating a yard of your own shit? That's something else entirely. This is when you've stood in front of a group of people, convinced all of them your way is the right way, and then end up flunking. You have led people down a path that you've just discovered you can't hack. You have to face the hardest choice there is in all of the human condition: Turn around and look stupid and risk having everyone lose faith in you, or plow ahead, hope for the best, fail and have everyone lose faith in you. It's a zero sum game. You're fucked no matter what. 

There will be shit everywhere in the end. The choice isn't to eat shit or avoid shit. The choice is to either eat your own shit, or force everyone else involved to eat it too. I've faced this exact situation a few times in my life. And because of my extraordinary luck having the father I did, I have been able to eat my own shit, admit I was wrong, and move on. And I'm so much better for it, because when you look back on the situation, you have two choices for how things fall out -- you did what was right, or you did what was wrong. 

No one will ever fault you for following your heart, so long as you are able to admit when your heart is wrong and not let it screw everyone else. And if they do... Well, they're dicks hell bent on punishing someone. That's where "stand up for yourself" type blog posts come in handy. I'm plenty sure you can search for those and find a ton on this blog. 

But realize, standing in front of the world and saying "I was wrong" is also standing up for yourself. It's standing up to your own innate cowardice. And as I read on a graffiti wall somewhere, the only real victories in life are over the self, because they're the only ones that last.