My wife Elfa likes to tell others that as the head of our family I always have the last words – “Yes, Dear”. Actually this is not exactly, accurate. Being a stubborn person and often thinking that I know better, sometimes I try to do things my way. To my credit, when I realize that Elfa is actually right, I say, “My wife is always right”. This upsets her. “If I was right, why didn’t you listen to me?” she asks. To this I respond, “If I would always listen to you, I would be Elfa, not Manny”. In some occasions our children accuse their mother of being negative, only to discover that actually she was cautious (and right). It was Mark Twain who wrote, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” Our children have passed the age twenty-one, but they are still learning the truth.
Being married for over 51 years and running a business together with Elfa for over 33 years could not happen without one quality we both possess – an attitude of gratitude. Recently Elfa related to me a conversation she had with one of her friends, who got upset after giving some business advice to her boyfriend, to which he didn’t even say “Thank you”. Elfa’s response was, “Do you think that Manny always says “Thank you?” Of course not. Because of their ego, men often have to process the information before they can acknowledge that it was someone else’s idea.”
In our lives together, I would not become who I am and accomplished what I (we) have without acknowledging other people, especially my wife. Therefore, when I do say “Thank you” to her, I add “for this as well”.
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