Easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right
What does being wrong feel like? It feels like being right. Until the moment where we know that we’re wrong, we feel that we’re right. In fact, when someone disagrees with us, we first assume that 1) they’re ignorant and just need information; and if they have the info, then 2) they’re idiots because they can’t put it together; and if they’re not idiots, then 3) they’re just playing around with us or they’re evil. Kathryn Schulz gave this brilliant breakdown in her TED talk.
Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.
When others are wrong, we are fine. We forgive their initial ignorance or their slowness to understand. But if they were right, then we are wrong — and our thoughts condemn us for being naive or stupid. Kathryn posits that what we learn in school is that when people are wrong, when fellow students get poor grades, it’s because they are either dumb or lazy, full stop. We are trained to assume the worst about who someone is, rather than get curious about their circumstances.
I mentioned that another shared his first name, ‘Tom’?” Harry nodded. There he showed his contempt for anything that tied him to other people, anything that made him ordinary. Even then, he wished to be different, separate, notorious.
When we dislike someone, any similarity between us and them disgusts us. When we are similar to someone we admire, we feel closer to them and bolder as our selves. In a similar vein, we tend to assimilate so we can be “normal,” yet, at the same time, strive to be unique, so we can have our own place and identity.
Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realise that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back.
With great power comes great fear.