"We are Supposed to be Wrong"

By: Tyler Jones

“A personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.” We all seem to grow up as perfectionists and then become engulfed by the cycle of beating ourselves up. I am no stranger to this dreadful word and know firsthand how it feels to fall short. It wasn’t until my Sophomore year in College that I realized life isn’t about being right all the time.

My accounting professor had sent in a substitute teacher for class and Raymond Kowalczyk took the reins. Ray’s energy quickly filled the room and I became incredibly interested in the life lessons that he inserted into his accounting lecture. After the class refused to answer a question, a middle-aged student told Ray he had just been scared to be wrong. Professor Ray stopped, chuckled, and said something that changed the course of my life.

“Don’t be afraid! We are supposed to be wrong!”

A lightbulb went off and I figured it all out. Our entire culture teaches children to avoid the “wrong” answer and creates a sense of fear among us. If we are never wrong, how can we solve tricky problems? Perfectionism, although we may desire it, is impossible to achieve. It’s okay to be wrong and if Ray wouldn’t have subbed on that Wednesday morning, I never would’ve been able to expand upon this message. The act of being wrong is like taking the wrong exit while driving. It may not be in your plans, but the discoveries made may make it all worth it. Being wrong isn’t just part of life, it’s necessary for growth.