Is It Better to Win or to Be Right?

It isn’t that straight forward. There’s no clear answer. So I’m really asking.


For some, their livelihood depends on winning. Winning games, winning contracts, winning elections, awards, law suits…wars… The rest of us fall somewhere else, where winning is a luxury. A prize, or bonus.

Many think in Machiavellian terms–that winning is the same as being right. Sometimes it is. Usually, it isn’t. The closer one gets to Washington, for example, the farther these concepts seem from one another. So is it better to lump oneself in with the winning side, even if you don’t agree with it? Or is it better to stand on the side you know is right and risk losing?

What if the stakes are modest? Do you hide what you think to get along with the group? Or do you speak your mind, regardless?

What if it’s your life? Your family? Does your conviction waver?

If you have to choose, are you on the right side? Or on the winning side?


4 thoughts on “Is It Better to Win or to Be Right?

  1. I always prefer to be on the side of what is right and true. Sure, there are times I will not argue my point in order to have peace in my life, but I usually speak my belief first and then agree to disagree. I always liked the quote from Malcolm X: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

    1. I like to think I’m in the right. Too many times I speak up when the smarter choice is to not say anything. I’ve wondered where that comes from. Because there is an intelligent part of me watching, telling me to shut the hell up, to let it go. It’s almost always the right advice. Never seem to listen, though.

  2. To say nothing sometimes is best when one is not invested in the subject. For, one cannot “win” (even if one is “right”) against a zealot in that case. To Arphaxad (and COP), right and true can be subjective, so sticking to speaking your belief first is probably a wise course (unless, of course, you are about to be shot dead for your belief by some buffoon).

    In my modestly humble opinion, if you are passionate about being “right” in a situation, you will “win” regardless, for you remain true to that which you are passionate about. Now, scuse, dove il bar?

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