It’s no surprise that I am a hopeless romantic. Despite being a quick learner, keeping relationships and friendships is a skill that I have never mastered. Naturally, I desire what I lack. So, I have always been interested in the human interactions and how it sometimes transpire into the mysterious thing called ‘Love’.
The more love grows
The less tolerance towards differences gets
I know it sounds wrong, and I concur to it. Don’t jump the gun yet, let me walk you through how I derived at this quote. Let me start by telling you a story (I do love stories, don’t you?). I will be using Ben & Sophie as illustrative characters. I am highly uncreative when it comes to names; from this point onwards, Ben and Sophie will be representatives of man and woman respectively.
Ben has 4 beautiful horses. Sophie studies comparative psychology and published a journal on “Horses and Depression”. Ben meets Sophie.
Ben: I like that piece of research you did on horses and depression. I own 4 gorgeous horses and I find the research rather informative.
Sophie: Glad you find it useful. Is any of your horses depressed?
Ben: Actually, all four of them are, I believe it is hereditary.
Sophie: It is possible to be genetic, studies show that some genes are more vulnerable to certain mental illnesses and even aggression; but would you also consider the possibility of learned behaviours amongst the horses?
Ben: (Disagree, but keeps an open mind) Possible.
The conversation progressed and they hit it off. They fall in love with each other very rapidly and intensely. They love each other so much that they cannot imagine life without each other.
One ordinary evening, the couple settled down at their lovely dining room with a glass of red wine, and started to chat about their favourite (common) topic of animals, especially on genetic health of animals.
Ben: I think the four horses need more attention and care. They are still depressed.
Sophie: I agree. One of methods that yield great success in treating horses with depression is termed conditioning. It’s different from the somewhat ‘abusive’ desensitization, but more of teaching them to cope and alter their managing skills.
Ben: They don’t need that. They just need more care and attention, no intervention needed.
Sophie: I am not proposing an intervention.
Ben: No, but I think you are. You are attempting to change them, instead of rendering help that they deserve. They are incapable of changing.
Sophie: That’s not what I meant; but in any case, they could be capable of handling more than we think.
Ben: (Extremely upset) I have been trying to tell the vet and everyone else, but I think everyone, including you, just don’t get it. It’s genetic, it’s not something you can treat or try to change.
Sophie: I am not opposing to your idea of providing more care and attention, you know?
So, the supposedly lovely evening ended with two sad lovers.
Human Nature – Learned and Automated Responses
Before we proceed further, let’s dabble in the subject on Human Nature a little bit. By this time, you may be formulating your own judgement and conclusion, yes?
See, that is human nature. We think that this story is about a problem needed to be fixed, but this is really just a story needs to be examined and understood.
Human nature, sometimes generally grouped as primal instinct, is based largely on precedent assumptions – learned behaviours. A grossly overrated excuse for poor behaviours or reluctance in personal growth.
The Dilemma – Right and Wrong
I am not interested in the right and wrong; from whose standpoint are we taking to determine the right or wrong? Ben’s? Sophie’s? Horses’? Is Sophie being insensitive towards Ben’s sensitivity towards this subject? Is Ben overreacting towards Sophie’s candor? Is it wrong for Ben to feel hurt that Sophie is not on the same page? Is it wrong for Sophie to feel hurt that Ben misunderstands her?
Now, I am going to use Human Nature to understand this dilemma.
My earlier quote:
The more love grows
The less tolerance towards differences gets
In my humble opinion, that is grossly ‘broken’.
“Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”, my friend asked. Indeed, I am glad she picked up the irony.
Ben is attracted to the opinionated Sophie, he may not agree with her but he kept an open mind. He was too mesmerised by her wits and pleasant disposition, and he enjoyed being challenged by an intellect; the feelings are mutual.
United Worlds – When Two Becomes One
When they fall in love, they visualise their worlds uniting into one. There is no more his world or her world. It is now their world; one world.
Now, a conversation consisting of similar context repeats but the responses are drastically different from before. Why? Who has changed?
The truth is.. No one has changed. The chemistry between them has. Many times, we follow blindly the precedent assumptions of how lovers should behave and how the dynamics should be.
It takes a person to take a step back to identify and overcome that broken ‘nature’. We are attracted to the opinionated other until we are in love and a different opinion suddenly becomes an opposing tool because it’s unbearable to think he/she thinks otherwise. Truth beckons that the person has not changed, the chemistry has, and most human can’t fathom such changes, hence expectations heighten.
Embracing Change Positively
When their two worlds joined to become one; the allowance for differences narrows because it’s the same world. Or, is it?
See, when two individuals fall in love, they still have their own personal worlds, but they have built a larger world to encompass both worlds. This new world is to grow into a more vibrant, rich and colourful utopia, if you will.
When we accept that the change in chemistry is actually a good thing, and acknowledge that such change is only because two people care so much about each other; we will not see difference as difference, but as interestingness; like it has always been. Un-break the broken ‘nature’, embrace the wisdom of broadening the perception, and looking at the larger picture, then, love abounds!
I am one of the most emotional people; I am one of the most rational thinkers. Which one am I? Why would anyone think I can only have one quality instead of both?
On the side info:
Today is a public holiday in Singapore – Labor Day aka May Day. (Not that it’s relevant to anything on this post at all, it’s just atop my head)