Occasionally, I tell certain students that they can be right or they can be happy.
They have usually been eristic, more clever than kind, critical or corrective of their peers in ways which are not fruitful. More in love with their own rightness than is meet.
In other words, they are like me, writing checks with their lips which they will come to regret.
But in posing this dilemma must come the question, can’t I be both? Can’t I be both right and happy? Should truth and happiness come together?
The person who merely asks this question will never actual know.
But one who begins to reign in his mouth, to give bridle to that most unmanageable of beasts, he or she who forgoes a clever or correct comment for the sake of a peer, who silently, patiently bears with mistakes and difference of opinion, the wife or husband who need not comment or criticize every mistake of the spouse, these people will discover a deeper and altogether more satisfying way of being right.
They will have discovered the righteousness of God which is love–patient, kind, which does not insist in its own way. Only he who has so practiced this disciple of love will come to know the answer to the question, whether one can be right and happy. But they will have discovered also a very different way of being right, a way which can in no way be wrong.