THE CASE FOR FOREBEARANCE

Can two people locked in mortal combat see beyond their own agenda?  Or do they both go down with the ship?

Drawing from my own personal experience and observing the battles of others fought around me, I have often wondered if the real problem is not incompatability but poor sportsmanship.  This is nowhere more evident than in personal relationships.

We live in a society where winning is the only acceptable outcome.  Stalemate is unpalatable and most couples initially seek to avoid it by pressing their case, usually to the detriment of those around them.  Tempers are so short and disgust so high, that moderation is the very last option.  If both parties are not ready to negotiate, then any overture is seen by the entrenched as a sign of weakness. 

Most notable is the absence of that polite deference usually reserved for the benefit of strangers.  Instead, we turn on our partners like animals and shred them to bits.  We never appreciate the irony of our actions because we’re blinded by anger.

Are we then weak and foolish if we choose not to battle?  Where does one draw the line?   Is there no place for forebearance? 

I suppose it could be argued that interpersonal relationships are the microcosm of the world at large.  Each  of us -angry, self-righteous and armed- seek dominance over our former lover and ally.  And, like the bickering countries around us, we are just as heedless to the consequences.

Who then will finally call a truce?    Who will have the courage to look past their own bitterness to something greater than themselves?  No one wins when all the toys are broken.

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