Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Nothing big ever came up

“My wife and I never fight,” a man told his friend. “You’re kidding,” the friend responded. “What’s your secret?”

“We decided before we got married that I’d make all the big decisions, and she would make the small ones.”

“How did it work out?”

“Great,” the man beamed. “Nothing big ever came up.”

My grandfather loved to tell this story. He would throw back his head and laugh, sometimes until the tears ran.

Thinking about it, I wonder if the story doesn’t have some applications for us in international Christian publishing.

In the interest of avoiding controversy, we publishers and writers sometimes play it safe and ignore vital issues our readers are grappling with. Or, in staff meetings, we push ideas through without opening discussion to all the key players. We may avoid time-consuming debate and possible disagreements, but the end product suffers as a result.

In international partnerships, we may operate under the unspoken (and wrong) assumption that “West is best” and ignore the ideas of non-Western colleagues as less-than-equal partners in the marriage.

Just because a conflict isn’t bubbling on the surface doesn’t mean that differences of opinion aren’t swirling down below. Sometimes “nothing big ever comes up” in our writing and publishing, because we don’t let it.

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