The words sliced through me when I heard Michi Woods speak them, years ago, at a conference known as Free Enterprise Days.
Along with her husband, Mike, Michi had become one of the most popular speakers and leaders in World Wide DreamBuilders (WWDB) as they shared how they had created a thriving Amway business.
Michi was talking about the importance of harmony in relationships, particularly with your spouse, and how much damage occurs when being right becomes more important than the relationship itself.
It was a path that I had taken frequently. As I let Michi’s words sink in, I recognized that for all of my smarts, I was pretty dumb to have become so proficient at pointing out the various ways others in my life were wrong.
As I examined myself, I was convicted that I ranked truth over grace. While some err on the other side, grace over truth, my destructive ways were the equivalent of beating someone bloody with a 2-by-4. Shamefully, in my “rightness” I was so wrong.
While I still believe there is value in my insights and my perspective, before I speak, I do my utmost to T-H-I-N-K.
I ask myself, “Is what I’m about to say…”:
I had lots and lots of “T” but very little of anything else.
In the years since I took Michi’s words to heart, I have had plenty of opportunities to repeat them to others, usually as they are relating some relatively minor grievance that they have with a spouse or another family member.
Just this weekend, as a girlfriend of mine enthusiastically shared how she responded differently than she normally does to a situation with her husband, she echoed what I had told her a couple of weeks earlier, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
On behalf of all women with whom I’ve shared this kernel of wisdom, including myself on a daily basis: Thank you, Michi.