It took me a long time to think of advice that I’d give to boys growing up. As a boy who has not yet grown up, I tried to find a piece of advice that I continue to find useful, and that piece of advice is: you can be wrong. I think all of us boys can help the world by improving our ability to be wrong. From political discussions to mental health to romantic relationships to innovation to friendships and anything in between, getting better at wrongness is going to help you and everything around you.
You can be wrong and you don’t have to get angry.
You can be wrong and you don’t have to ruminate for hours about the things you want to say to people to prove you’re not wrong.
You can be wrong and it doesn’t mean your self-esteem has to fall apart.
You can be wrong about your skills and recognizing that will help you improve them.
You can be wrong about your political beliefs and that doesn’t mean accepting other ideas diminishes your value or participation in public discourse.
You can be wrong about thinking somebody wants to have sex with you and you can put your pants back on and that’s ok.
You can be wrong and you don’t have to hide that or lie to people around you.
You can be wrong and help others by sharing how you overcame those mistakes.
You can be wrong about what you think will make you happy and recognize that you already have everything you need.
You can be wrong about your limitations and amaze yourself with how much you can actually do.
You can be wrong and learn far more than somebody that never ventures outside the cage of being right.