To fight or not to fight

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page -


NEVER re­ally like fights, for some rea­son whether I win or not I al­ways get out of it feel­ing less of a per­son. Yet it seems to be the fiber of all the roads I step into, and to avoid it means not to walk at all.

Come to think of it, the hat­ing part was ac­tu­ally just an ac­quired thing. I mean I prac­ti­cally grew up in a fam­ily with a very di­verse back­ground. My par­ents have dif­fer­ent re­li­gions and have dif­fer­ent tribal an­ces­try. I eat con­flict for break­fast. Yet how­ever im­per­vi­ous I have be­come, I can never re­ally be im­mune to the or­deal that goes with ev­ery con­flict. Each clash brings back memories of fights that ended badly.

If there are three things I have learned from how my par­ents lived har­mo­niously in the midst of con­flicts, these would be:

1. Di­ver­sity is the essence of com­mu­nal life. So long as there is more than one per­son liv­ing, there will al­ways be dif­fer­ence of opin­ion and be­lief. The first hell one can ex­pe­ri­ence is when he or she thinks that he or she owns the mo­nop­oly of truth. The sec­ond hell is when he or she in­sists that oth­ers should at all times con­form to how he or she sees the world.

It has to be pointed that di­ver­sity does not nec­es­sar­ily mean some­one should be wrong. It could sim­ply mean that each of us holds a cer­tain part of the truth. Dif­fer­ence of opin­ion and be­liefs are not points of con­flict, but are in­vi­ta­tions of di­a­logue. With di­a­logue, things get clar­i­fied and com­mon grounds are ar­rived at. Di­a­logue fa­cil­i­tates fu­sion of hori­zon thereby elim­i­nat­ing the very point of con­flict.

2. Con­flicts are in­evitable so learn to choose your bat­tles. Not all con­flicts need to be re­solved. There are those that are not im­por­tant and not ur­gent. Some are too petty that en­gag­ing on them does not gain you any ground. Oth­ers are im­por­tant but are not ur­gent. These con­flicts can be put on hold as you buy time to re­flect on how you would re­solve them in­stead of just re­act on them. Still oth­ers are ur­gent but are not re­ally es­sen­tial while there are those you just could not af­ford to let pass be­cause they are at the heart of what you hold dear and they are at the essence of how you would like to be de­fined.

Some­times one has to lose smaller bat­tles to win the war.

3. Win­ning is not ev­ery­thing and los­ing is not the end of life. Some­times you have to take a punch or two. Some­times los­ing is just what you need to do to be a bet­ter per­son. Some­times los­ing is your re­demp­tion.there is surely more to life than win­ning a fight. In fact I beg to dif­fer on the sci­en­tific claim that life on earth is the sur­vival of the fittest. Be­cause if you look around, it’s not the strong­est that sur­vives. It’s those species that just know when to fight and when to re­treat.

Ag­gres­sion, com­bat, and at­tack are not the only lan­guages in this world, there are also words such as com­pas­sion, tol­er­ance and love.*

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