Probably, each of us has had to face a dilemma in life: which side to take in a dispute or conflict – on the side of one’s own or on the side of the right (after all, one’s own is not always right).

For example, your son beat a neighbor’s kid in the yard. His father came out and kicked your son’s ears. It seems that your son is yours, you need to stand up for him. But, on the other hand, he’s wrong.

Or, let’s say you are walking in the yard in the evening, and there your friends are picking on a foreigner. It seems to be a pity for a foreigner. We need to intercede. But your friends are your friends there.

And here is another example. A Kazakhstani citizen participates in the preparation of a terrorist attack in the United States. He is caught and tried. It would seem that, yes, helping terrorists is bad. But these Americans are judging our native Kazakhstan.

Whose side should I take in all these cases?

It’s not an easy question.

Personally, I worked out a position for myself for a long time, until it was honed into a very short and simple formula:

“Protect the weak, support the right.”

What does this formula mean?

In any conflict, if it is in my power, I do not allow violence to be committed. It doesn’t matter who beats whom: our foreigner or our foreigner, someone else’s boy of my son, or vice versa. The fight must be stopped. There is no place for violence among civilized people.

The second thing to do is to sort out the dispute and decide for yourself who is right and who is to blame. And after that, take the side of the right, regardless of whether he is your own or someone else’s.

Because of this rule, to be honest, I have in my life happened to lose the favor of friends and colleagues.

I remember one friend was offended at me for not helping him in a fight with a stranger. I separated them and started to find out who was right. “Who cares who’s right? – then he would say to me resentfully, – I’m your friend. Why didn’t you beat him up first, and only then didn’t you find out who was right?”.

Of course. Everyone wants to believe that no matter what they do, their own will always be on your side and support you.

But I can’t do that. This is contrary to my principles of life.

I believe that the truth is above all, including friendship, solidarity and patriotism. Your own is not necessarily always right. And you need to be able to prove it and stand your ground. After all, only the rule of truth can keep any of us from impunity and permissiveness.

P.S. I have another rule that is inextricably linked with the above formula. It sounds like this: “Don’t let your people offend strangers.”

What does it mean?

This means that if one’s own was to blame for the conflict, then one’s own should punish him. It is impossible to give him to the mercy of strangers.

I remember in my childhood, when the boys’ inter-yard showdowns were fashionable, there was a very authoritative and fair leader in our company. One day, with the cry “Our people are being beaten!” we rushed the whole crowd into the neighboring yard. There, a competing company caught our kid and was going to give him an execution. Our commander did not immediately get involved in a fight. He only stopped them and asked them to tell him what was the matter. It turned out that our friend was caught stealing someone else’s bike. Our leader thought for a while, and then said, “Yes. Stealing bicycles is bad. He’s wrong, but I’m responsible for him. Here’s the money for you. Buy yourself a treat and forget about this misunderstanding.” Since he was an authoritative kid, the neighbors agreed with him and let our friend go. We brought the failed thief into our yard and punched him so that he never thought about stealing again.

That’s what I always did afterwards.

These two simple rules help me navigate complex controversial situations and correctly answer the question: what is more important — my own or the right one, and what to do if my own is wrong.

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