You’re right, I’m right

Tolerance is easy if we learn to respect the other person's opinion, just as we respect our own

Two different ways

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science. His ideas and thoughts continue to influence modern philosophy and spirituality.

My interpretation

The above quote is packed with practical wisdom that, if we understand, can enrich our relationships and help us live a contented and joyous life.

Nietzsche is, first and foremost, teaching us the value of tolerance. He’s saying that just because someone doesn’t subscribe to our views or doesn’t walk on the path we have chosen for ourselves, does not make him wrong. He’s saying that he respects the other’s right to be himself just as he values his own.

Nietzsche is saying that when there is a difference of opinion, it is best to agree to disagree rather than attempt to come to an agreement. To insist on agreement would require one or the other to let go of his opinion and accept the other’s as ‘right’. But, according to Nietzsche, absolute right does not exist. Just because a path serves you, doesn’t mean that it would serve another too. The problem is that when we are stuck on right and wrong, we tend to become needlessly rigid and demanding and therefore intolerant.

Once we understand and accept that each individual has the right to choose his way as he deems fit, we will not only be tolerant towards the choices of others but also be more assertive of our own?—then there will be no need to try and comply with someone else’s idea of what is right and wrong.

If only all of us followed Nietzsche’s advice, our world will be more peaceful, more beautiful.

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Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri is a highly experienced wellbeing consultant. He is also a writer-editor and has written on topics ranging from strategic marketing and business management to art, culture and even philosophy. His more than 1250 published stories—articles, interviews, full-length features—have appeared in some of the leading newspapers and magazines of India. A certified cognitive behavioural therapist, he works as a personal counsellor too. He is the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed self-improvement book based on powerful ideas of some of the greatest thought leaders. Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


  1. Those are really a bunch of suggestions to live a happy life bereft of a good share of unpleasant situations. But somewhere down the line, one has to draw a line so as to ensure the counterpart that his/her tolerance is not his/her submission.


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