Recently, I was asked the most important question. The question to life, the universe, and everything. And the answer was not 42.
The most important question any of us are asked and the question we ask ourselves almost constantly is, if we have the tiniest bit self-awareness, how do you know you're right. This speaks to the question that philosophy answers, How Do I Know? I can only speak for myself on this matter, primarily. I will get to how you are right in a moment.
I know that I am right because nothing that I do infringes upon another person in any way whatsoever. None of the joy that I take on my life depends on stealing the joy of another person. I do not ask another person to do for me what I am unwilling to do for myself. I respect myself and expect others to do so as well, so I treat them with respect up unto the moment when I see they have no respect for themselves or others and I consider them fair game.
Now, we all know the Golden Rule, Do unto others... and all that. I do that. The moment you treat me less well than you treat yourself, you're open season for anything my mind wants to dream up to tweak your hubris. I will not be mean for the sake of meanness. I figure we all have our bad days, however, if you don't take my gimme when I offer it to you, straighten up and fly right, you are mine to toy with. Bureaucrats and low level functionaries beware.
Observation of people is a great thing and it teaches us so much. We are so engrossed in our little worlds, texting, cell phones, social networking, that we soon believe our self-promotion. When others call us on it, we get uppity, snooty and downright belligerent.
Now, as to how I know you're right. If you are willing to accept that you are wrong, Kudos to you. If you just assume that you are right, with nothing to back your play, once again, you are mine to toy with. I know all of the Argumentums, you don't and I will beat you to death with logic and reason. Oh, and I know lots of words, and their proper usage in a sentence. Words CAN hurt you.
I know you're right when you use facts to explain something and don't try to baffle me with BS, euphemisms or brute force. I know you're right when you admit you don't know, but will be willing to look in to it. I respect that. Respect has a lot to do with it. As long as you're not trying to snow me, or take something that isn't yours by use of your argument, we can agree to disagree, or join arms in agreement.
How do you know you're right?
When you don't have to find new ways to hide something ugly and try to sell it to people as helpful. When you can let the full light of day shine on anything you think or say or do. When you can stand tall and speak your intent and know that no one can naysay you, because of your virtue of thought. When you don't ask someone to sacrifice themselves for anything useless or pointless. When you don't have to hide yourself or your agenda from anyone.
Now, I will sit here with my glass of wine in my coolish home while the neighbor's kid goes and hands out the fliers for the 4th of July Block Party in the heat.
I can justify this! I swear!