We often insist on being right. The price we pay is our happiness. Once we realize that it’s being right or being happy, we may begin making a wiser choice.
I want to teach you a Yiddish phrase. The phrase goes like this: A ligen tor men nit zogen, der emes darft men nit zogen. And this is what it means. A lie you’re not allowed to say, it’s forbidden to lie, but the truth one doesn’t have to say.
This little phrase carries tremendous insight into life. You see, the Midrash teaches us that the world cannot be sustained in an environment of undiluted bold truth. Truth needs to be packaged. Not compromised, but it needs to be packaged so it can be digestible. To just be a man of truth and say it as it is, simply doesn’t work in this world.
Now, we’re not allowed to lie or be crooked, but there’s a way to present truth so that it’s digestible instead of just putting it out there bluntly. And this is the reason why, you know, the secret to all relationships is a choice that every person makes. And that choice is to be right or to be happy.
You can be right and say, I am right. The truth is with me. And you can fight for that truth all of your life and demand that it’s right. And you may be right, but, boy, you’re going to be miserable. Because it doesn’t work. It may be right, but it doesn’t work. Whereas, you can overlook being right and you can be happy. That’s the reason why kids, children, they fight and they make up in a second. Because kids, you know, their egos haven’t grown so large yet and so they’re not interested in being right, they are interested in being happy. Then we get older and we’re fighting for ourselves, we’re defending our territory, you want the whole world to know we exist and so, therefore, we are going to be right until the end. Uncompromising. And we say, How can I not defend the truth? But you know what, it destroys the world. It actually destroys the world and it destroys people. It destroys every relationship.
So, actually, my advice to any couple, any married couple is, the next time you want to say something to your spouse, ask yourself, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Because it may be a lot smarter for you not to say anything and let it slide than to be right. Because not every person who is right is happy.