War & Peace (a la Not Leo Tolstoy)

I have proven in more ways than one that we do reap what we sow. Some people call it karma, some people call it the law of the universe: That whatever you do or did not do, be it good or bad, the consequence, be it a blessing or a curse, will one day find its way back to you.

Believing this does me good. It reminds me to be careful about judging others. Let's face it, all of us are human beings with our own share not only of strengths but also of flaws and shortcomings. It is therefore very easy for us to pass judgment when we thought that people have fallen short of the standard that we set to be the yardstick to measure people with whom we have dealings.  Even those who we thought deserve our respect, our friendship or our love, we subject them to this yardstick. The problem, I noticed in myself, is that we always have a double standard specially when it comes to ourselves. We subject other people to a very rigorous standard but when it comes to a point where we ought to measure ourselves up against that same yardstick, we cut a few inches here and there so that we do not have to admit that we are just the same, fallen humans whose tendency is to judge others to avoid the difficult task of looking at ourselves in the mirror and admitting that we are at fault as well.

If all of us have the strength to admit we might be at fault, and to always give others the benefit of a doubt, conflicts would be easily resolved because forgiveness would be such a cheap commodity that out of the admission that we need understanding and consideration from others, and we ourselves are willing to give the same, the result would be such that we would give away forgiveness freely and generously.

But the reality is we like thinking that we are in the right and that the other party is in the wrong.  I have seen that in myself time and time again. It is always in our nature to blame someone and feel righteous about it. But we have to admit, that no conflict, no war, no misunderstanding has ever been solved without both parties admitting defeat. Okay, maybe in war, one country has to surrender to the stronger country but that's beside the point. The point is, both parties need to concede their position and come to terms with the fact that if they want peace, both have to be willing to give up something.

Now, let us ask ourselves: Which is more important to us, peace, unity and friendship or feeding our pride, ego, and self-righteousness? Because, let's face it, anyone who is not willing to lay down his arms for the sake of reconciliation and peace likes being at war.  And that says a lot about a person.




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