Have you ever been in an argument with a friend or someone you care about, and were so determined to win that you lost a precious friendship instead?
Once I was on a bus and was feeling upset because of something that I cannot remember now. I think there is a saying, “If you cannot remember what it is, it may not be that important.”
In this case, I only remember the feelings involved. Now I feel like I wasted that moment feeling upset over something that I cannot even recall. I do recall that it was no big drama, though – what a relief!
It is not easy losing small battles. In our secular, material world, winning small battles means we are on our way to winning the wars. Unless we are able to define what we really want to win, the outcome of small battles may not matter much anymore.
I see a lot of grown-ups pretend to lose when they are playing games with young children. Why is that? Love for the children would be my reason to let them win when I am competing with them.
I myself had the experience of a friend letting me win a board game we played. I didn’t know what was happening, but I still won the game I was playing for the first time, against someone who said that it was their favourite game and had played it for many years. When I think about it, my friend was able to create a positive situation. I was happy. Do I still remember how to play the board game? Not really. I just remember being content and our friendship blossoming.
I watched a programme on TV about a young lady who fell off her motorbike. The narrator said in a kind tone to the anxious viewers, “Nothing was hurt, except her pride.” Pride sometimes causes us to do silly things because we don’t really want to hurt our pride, and not hurting our pride tends to be at the expense of good relationships.
I grew up in a community environment. I come from a village overseas where everyone in the village knows each other. We didn’t have house numbers, so we used a PO Box at the post office centres for mail. And if anyone came to the village for the first time looking for me, since everyone knows everyone, that person just had to go to any house in the village and ask for directions.
I am glad people there are still living in peace and still know each other. There were ‘once in a blue moon’ misunderstandings and arguments. But forgiveness and tolerance was what I always saw while growing up there. I realised the members of that community had to make a bit of sacrifice to get along. It’s just that, for them, it’s not a sacrifice – it’s their learned way of living.