A few of weeks ago, I wrote a Tip about the Lone Ranger. I talked about how much I admired the delicate balance he demonstrated between having an ego that was big enough to make him believe he could impact his world for good, yet having a heart of humility and compassion, which he displayed at the same time. In the article, I mentioned the Lone Ranger’s Indian side-kick, whose name was Tonto and his horse, Scout. I mentioned in the article that Scout was a paint breed of horse. Now I will tell you the rest of the story.
I grew up thinking Scout was a palomino. I was talking to a friend one day and he told me that Scout was a “paint” breed of horse. I told my friend I had always thought he was a palomino. My friend told me that I probably had Tonto’s horse mixed up with Roy Roger’s horse, Trigger, who actually was a palomino. When I studied it a little further and looked up some pictures of horses and I was actually surprised by how wrong I had been! I told my friend how much I appreciated his wisdom and insight in helping me to straighten out my palominos from my paint horses. Although I don’t try to be wrong about things, I certainly do love it when I find out what is right and get my information straightened out.
You may think that this is no big deal, and you would be correct, but you would miss the point of the Tip. Being willing and receptive to accept correction is the heart of this Tip. When you get your facts straight and your information right, it really does make everything better. It causes other people to trust you more and it puts you in a position to learn to be more accurate in the future. The challenge comes, when we are unwilling to receive correction. No one really enjoys being corrected, but, there is so much value in it. I do not believe it is wise to fail to listen when someone is trying to help you!
I realize that it would be easier to receive if everyone could give correction in a discreet, uplifting, encouraging and helpful manner. But, you really can’t control other people. You cannot make them correct you in a way that is acceptable to you. I have found that it is much wiser to take the correction, regardless of how it is given. It is better to focus on receiving the correction than on the way the other person gives it. Whoever is willing to receive correction will attract more wisdom in his or her personal life.
Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not correct a mocker or he will hate you. Correct a wise man and he will love you.” Isn’t it interesting to note that in both cases, the words of correction are the same? The only thing that is different is the response by the listener. The wise person will be grateful for the correction, whereas a fool will simply demonstrate anger, bitterness and hatred toward the person doing the correcting.
I realize this is a touchy subject. I have talked to people about it over the years and found that correcting another person is a major cause of hurt feelings and division. That is very unfortunate. We would all be much better off to simply respond to correction in a positive, professional and mature manner.
One additional thought: You also must realize that the other person is actually taking a chance when they try to correct you. You will not meet many people who even care enough to try and help you become a better, more informed person. Most people will not say anything because they don’t care that much about your personal growth. Therefore, it is in your best interest to just receive the correction.
I am glad that I now know that Tonto rode a paint horse by the name of Scout, rather than a palomino. It may not be the most important information I possess, but, at least I have gotten it straight. I am grateful for any correction I ever get because, in the end, it only makes me a better person.
I hope you will open your eyes to this concept and learn to receive any correction given. You will become a better person for it!
Tip: Be willing to receive correction.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm