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 Blooming Stars

Forgiving Hurts and Unfair Treatments

            The whole universe is a network of physical, emotional, and spiritual relationships. While a relationship is not an entity in itself, it connects two or more entities. A human society cannot be conceived without relationships. When relationships among individuals, families, communities and nations are cordial, trusting, and non-exploitative, the world functions smoothly, and gives opportunities for everyone’s growth and development. Any healthy relationship is based on two key elements: trust and mutuality. Trust is generated from reliability and predictability. Without mutuality and reciprocity, a relationship is one-sided and unequal. In an unequal relationship, one pursues the other or one is more needed than the other.

            The relationship is at the whim and mercy of the other in an unequal relationship. In such a relationship one party calls all the shots, and often manipulates the neediness of the other. Persons stay in a relationship for various reasons. Humans by nature are relational. They are born out of a relationship; they grow up and live in relationships. Their whole life is marked by relationships. Some, for instance, stay in an unequal relationship hoping it will change in time. Sometimes an unequal relationship is better than no relationship at all in that it at least keeps some kind of connectedness. A parent might stay in an unequal relationship with a child hoping that the child might change for a mutually beneficial relationship with age, maturity, and wisdom.

            A healthy relationship is the most enjoyable and satisfying happening in the world. Without it, life is not really worth living. In it there is sensitivity, thoughtful consideration, fond affection, and respect for the other; there is love and surrendering; absolutely no exploitation or use of the other. Both are sovereign subjects. It is marked by frequent sharing and communication. Both take calculated risks, yet the relationship is not based on opportunism or convenience. There is no conscious selfishness. While one or the other may be used or exploited in the initial stages of a relationship, the unhealthy and pathological elements are gradually eliminated with thoughtful communication and mutual feed-back. In my thinking, hell, if there is one, is marked by selfishness.

            I am reminded of a little story that indicates the difference between heaven and hell. In heaven and hell everything is the same except the attitude of the people. In both places in the middle of the dining hall, there is a delicious and nutritious potion that all like. The long ladles to scoop out the liquid food are tied to the arms in such a way that the elbows cannot be bent to feed themselves. In heaven one person feeds another; in hell each one tries to feed self in vain. Selfishness marked by self-centeredness is the root of all evils. Selfishness does not permit to give to the other person the advantage, opportunity, and freedom one enjoys. Love, the most precious gift humans have, functions only in the medium of a relationship. Relationship problems lead to conflicts even wars. We are living in a world where trust is waning and distrust is waxing.

            Distrust is the greatest emotional cancer that eats into the very marrow of humanity, and destroys countless relationships. We need to change this climate of suspicion and distrust where death and destruction reign. A new world order wherein good and healthy relationships characterized by non-violent love, sharing resources, and compassionate relating is needed now more than ever for sheer survival of humanity. This world order alone can prove wrong the fundamentalist and fanatic prophets of doom, gloom, and rapture, and, above all, thwart evil terrorists bent on indiscriminate death and destruction. A good and healthy relationship may be compared to a lush tropical paradise where everything thrives, flourishes, and blooms. On the other hand, a bad, unhealthy, and conflict-ridden relationship may be compared to a barren desert where everything withers and dies.


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