Do you want to be right, or do you want to be loved?
Yes, both, of course. Why should we have to choose? What a thing to be right and to be loved at the same time. How happy. How rare.
I have won an occasional argument with my wife and found myself beside myself, without anyone to celebrate with beside myself. My victory is no match for her defeat. I may not end up sleeping on the couch, but sleeping in the same bed with someone doesn’t mean you aren’t sleeping alone.
Sometimes I play my favorite trump card in an argument: “You never admit you are wrong.” That’s not true, she says. “Aha,” say I, “there you go again. My point.” I get closer to the couch with each rejoinder.
Married people subject truth to love if they know what’s good for them. Love pursues the heart of the beloved more than scoring points. The relationship wins when love itself has the upper hand.
Prosecuting attorneys subject love to truth if they know what’s good for them. We don’t want them going around town winking at criminals and passing out “get out of jail free” cards. No community can live in harmony without justice. Their pursuit of the truth in any case is civic love.
We want airline pilots to be right. We want them to be legalists. We don’t really care about their personalities in the cockpit. Passengers are not interested in sentimentality as the plane descends. We want truth, justice, and the American (Airlines) way (even if landing at Love Field!).
Airline pilots and prosecuting attorneys do not live their whole lives on the job, though. They go home and love their spouses and children unconditionally. They sacrifice for them. They look after them. They overlook things they would never overlook in their work, because the work of nurturing the spirit is not the same as the work of landing a plane.
Agility is a virtue, not a vice. If you are always one way or another, your consistent character is a character flaw.
Prosecutors must know how to forgive as well as accuse. Pilots need to be flexible as well as rigid. Spouses need to value the truth while holding each other close.
All activities of life involve truth and love in some proportion and in some priority. Wisdom knows what is what, and when.