Differences in how one sees something are directly linked to our freedom, experiences, and cultures. The fact that we have differences is not in itself either good or bad, it just is one of life’s realities.
I met someone after many months. Our last email exchange focused on our differences. At the time, I wrestled with options on how to resolve potential conflict that could come from very different perspectives. As I developed alternatives, I realized I had a choice. I could invest time and energy fighting for what I believed in or let it go. While letting it go was not, at least on the surface, fair, it did have the upside that I could use the time and energy for other activities. The question that haunted me was an emotional one. Was I really willing to let it go?
Our meeting was not planned. As I saw him enter the room, I knew the truth within me.
Conflicts, even when fought for all the right reasons, consume us. They drain our energy, sap our reserves, and dampen our spirit. Even when managed well, resolutions rarely give us a positive return.
While there are some conflicts that cannot be avoided, many conflicts are the result of a choice you or I made. One does not always need to fight for what is fair or just. One does not always need to demand honor or respect. One does not always need to be proven right.
When one chooses harmony over justice, peace over fairness, Life has a way of taking care of things. It may take time, but I believe in the end truth and justice win.
As we said hello, I wanted to eliminate the chance of dancing around our differences. As I candidly shared my choice not to resolve our potential conflict and to spend my energy on positive pursuits, he stopped and simply stared. I was reminded of the psalmist’s observation; “Good people see this and are glad; bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.” (Psalm 107.42)
It was a good call.