The Freedom to NOT Be Right

Originally published Tuesday, 11 December 2012.

(Proceed with caution. This one may hurt a bit.)

If I had to choose one area that has been an on-going struggle with me (not that there haven't been many), this would be it. I have strong convictions and am very opinionated. I believe there may be one or two of you out there like me, so I offer you my thoughts.

Years ago, as I've mentioned, I found myself a homeless unwed teen mom who eventually landed a corporate job for a major Fortune 500 company. I gained a great deal of knowledge and experience within that company. I developed my public speaking skills and organization skills. I made a great living for my family. I enjoyed lavish vacations. My confidence grew.

But something else began to happen. The larger my success, the bigger my ego grew! With increased confidence came increased arrogance and a total lack of humility. If a supervisor tried to give me direction, I became defensive. If an employee didn't agree with me, I ruled with an iron fist and brought the hammer down!

The first few years of my marriage, I never conceded an argument. There was a fight to the death about who was to take out the trash, which restaurant we'd dine in, or how to discipline the children. It was awful. During that time, my beloved aunt shared with me the following, "It is far more important to maintain relationships than it is to be right." (This from a woman who's been married almost 55 years!) Several years later, I am finally getting that.

There is nothing wrong with having strong convictions. There are injustices in the world that SHOULD anger us. I am one of the most passionate women you will ever meet regarding single parents and the church that should serve them! But our reaction to the injustices is where freedom comes in. I have now learned that every wrong in the world does not need to be righted by me. I do not always need a cause to fight for, just for the sake of fighting a cause. I don't always have to be on a crusade. Every conversation does not need to end in an argument or a submission that I am the queen of knowledge on every subject. And I'm okay with that.

My ideas aren't always best. My children aren't always wrong. My spouse isn't always the problem. My opinion doesn't always need to be heard. And my articles, blogs, Facebook entries, and Twitters don't always need to be iron-clad-fight-provoking. There.....I said it. Whew! What freedom! Your turn...........

Author/Speaker Jennifer Maggio is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parents’ and mothers’ issues. She is the founder of Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine and The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She has been featured on countless radio and television programs and has a heart to see that no single mother walks alone. For more information, visit