Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Clash of Values

When two value systems clash, it results in a big bang.
Especially when the two systems are strong and at two opposite extremes of a spectrum.

Its independence vs binding ties
It is brutal honesty vs manipulative diplomacy.
It is indifference vs compassion.
It is neutrality vs loyalty.

There is no right or wrong.
These are not as mutually exclusive as they look, sometimes even compatible. But superficially, it is quite difficult to find middle ground, in fact it seems next to impossible to try and get the two together.

Independence stands for no interference. It refuses to be bowed down by other's considerations. It stands for "I can never betray myself", it comes with an implicit distrust of other people. It comes with the ability to bear consequences of one's decisions. Interdependence, on the other hand, will never sacrifice emotional ties at the altar of autonomy. It will mean being dependent, sometimes even to one's detriment. It will mean investment of time and emotion where it is not appreciated.

Brutal honesty means just that -  ruthless, clean, precise. Calling a spade a spade, because any form of diplomacy equals dishonesty. Brutal honesty is built on the principle of "truth never hides". It works on the principle of mercy - being merciful by telling the other the truth because you owe it to them. The objective is to get the thought across no matter what. And then there is manipulative diplomacy - the art of sparing the other's person's feeling. The knowledge that words are like swords and they cut deep, often, making the wound fatal. The acceptance of the fact that whatever bitter truth or frivolous observation that you have to make- there is ALWAYS a better way of saying it, a nicer way of saying it. The objective is to ensure other persons's feeling are not hurt, even if the thought is lost in translation.

Indifference, stems from the fact that not everything affects you and not everything is your business either. It is about giving space and time, even an infinite amount, because the belief is that every individual is entitled to their space and their privacy. Privacy and isolation are believed to be an individual's basic rights. When a person says - "Give me some time alone" - it means just that - nothing more nothing less. But when compassion comes into the picture, the same sentence means - "I am saying give me some time alone, but what i actually want is for you to stay and make things ok". And there lies the basic difference in perception. Emotional interference is based on the philosophy of "man is a social animal" - joys are doubled when shared and troubles halved. Every individual needs someone to make life easier. Problems are fought better with strength of numbers.

Neutrality - where decisions are based on cold hard facts, not relationships. Where facts speak and justness is of utmost importance. Where the principle of fairness, justice and truth are held above everything else, even loyalty. Loyalty - unconditional acceptance and support, no matter what. The facts don't matter, the reactions and conditions don't matter, it is just plain old loyalty. And nothing comes before or after. Nothing can shake it or change it.

And imagine when these value systems marry - what a clash! It is big, it is loud and boisterous, it is pretty, it is ugly. It is shiny, it is passionate. It is brutal, but forgiving. It is thoughtful, but senseless. It makes life hell, it makes life interesting. It opens up new ways of perception, it makes your world go round. It uproots you, it grounds you. It throws you off balance and then provides a new ground for stability. It does a lot of things, but one thing is for sure, life is never dull.
And what is more frighting than living a dull life?

For all their opposite views, there is one thing that unites these two systems in a marriage, a common ground that is big enough to accommodate both the value systems, an unbreakable thread that is woven around them, binding them together forever -  LOVE.

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