What is More Important? Being "Right" or Being "Nice"?

I do believe that I may have wasted more time on being "right" than any human being should. This time was wasted by needing to make amends, beg forgiveness, mend fences and burn bridges with people i cared about. It was time wasted because I dismissed people from my life that didn't agree with me. Those same people could have given me a new insight, viewpoint, or perspective, but I choice to close myself off to anything except that fact that I was "Right".

I justified my behavior, words and lack of manners by being "Right". I called a "Spade a Spade". I told the "Truth", plain and simple. If you are telling the truth, you can say anything. Right?

Now I ate enough soap as a child to know it was not what I said but how I said it. Rudeness, was not a trait my mother suffered lightly. My mother had devised the torture of wiping soap over my tongue to clean up my mouth after I offended her, someone, anyone with my words. I never understood how telling the truth or pointing out the obvious could be considered anything but "Right".

It has taken me decades to discover that my mother was "Right". It truly is better to be nice than "right". You can never go wrong if you are nice to someone no matter how "Wrong" they are.

Let provide you with an example. A man that my father had invited to dinner because the man had come looking for job at dinner time and looked hungry, joined us at the table, when passed the potatoes, he helped himself and licked the serving spoon clean, sticking it back in the bowl. I went to say something and my mother pinched the be-jesus out of my arm before she reached for the bowl of potatoes and sweetly said, "Marvin, let me get some from the kitchen in case you like my potatoes? I hope you do." I was told to get the gravy bowl and come refill it.

In the kitchen, I told momma she was a hypocrite. Me, she stabs in the arm with a fork for putting my elbows on the table and she was sweet as pie to someone who licked the serving spoon. My mother gave me a look that would have melted butter and said, "Perhaps I am a hypocrite honey, because I will choose the "Nice" thing, like offering him some more potatoes, over being "Right" and pointing out his lack of table manners."

It was a lesson I should have learned long ago. Instead, I chose to spend my time being "Right". In the upcoming New Year, I choose to be "Nice." Because my mother was right, you can never go "wrong" if you are "nice".

I hope that for all you that are out there using the internet, posting your comments, can use my mother's advice. I know I should have. Why don't you learn from my mistakes, just be "nice" when you feel the urge to prove you are "right".