An old saying in my household is that you can be “right” or you can love somebody.
Translation: You can seek dominion (in a disagreement) or you can agree to disagree, and move on. You can place a higher value on getting along and honoring the other person’s position than on being “the winner.”
If only we could do this in world affairs.
The contest between conditional love and unconditional love is a constant in life, and is entirely one-sided. Those who think of unconditional love as a concept, however noble, which has very little to do with themselves, or “everyday” life, place negligible value on it, exercise it seldom, starve it of consideration, and are slaves to the lordship of the ego and the transitory demands of a fleeting life.
The rest of us idealists give it a go as often as possible and reap the consequences. We are frequently hurt and afraid…in the beginning. Our empathy leads us down all sorts of prickly paths. We lose our traction and fall down, again and again. We are beguiled by imitations of love. We are suckers and dreamers. Love is our drug. We want to mainline the pure stuff.
Experience strengthens us. We learn to make difficult decisions. We walk away from conditional love destined to hurt us. We get better at spotting narcissists, bad bosses, gossips, cheaters and negative people. We wrangle with those who need to be “right” at all costs, and learn to disentangle ourselves from their demands. There is little love lost there, only our illusions.
Life becomes a little easier as our wisdom grows. We avoid some of the slippery slopes we would have fallen down in the past. We are satisfied with less. We learn to love everyone, but not to give ourselves away in the process. We need our selves, we discover, not our egos. The self is made of love. It is a tiny reflection of the Source, which calls to us idealists and dreamers. Experience makes us better listeners. We hear that quiet sound, like a fog horn miles in the distance, leading us home.
You can be right, or you can love. If you love, there is no need to be right.