By Kwabena Brako-Powers
Imagine a peaceful and happy relationship, where barriers of disagreements are tucked away into oblivion, and where the only act before you to perform is selflessness. How about that? This is possible. There’s always a way out of every disagreement that confronts us but few see and use it.
The law of the third factor states that at the extreme end of every two opposing arguments is the third — anonymous. To know it, both parties would have to discard their arguments to collectively reach out to the third factor. This factor has in itself the answers to the deepest disagreements ever known to man. The disagreeing parties both need to thrash their arguments to be opened to the third factor which serves as a tranquilizer. It could take the form of cross-fertilizing both arguments to reach to that third factor – the known. The third factor appears, initially, as anonymous when the disagreement is heated, and avail itself when the disagreeing parties open themselves up for settlement.
This is not compromise – a scary word to some people. This has everything to do with dropping one’s pride and seeing a different picture. What if at that moment your points are not valid, however, researched they may be? What if the other party’s points are the truth? Will you allow the truth to permeate your argument?
Many hitherto happy homes have been reduced to rubble because of deep cutting disagreements; blossoming relationships crippled in the knee and flourishing careers shredded all because people have decided to disagree even when they are in the wrong. Parents have driven their children from their homes because of disagreements bordering on who has the righteous argument. I am on the right. You’re wrong. This way of thinking and acting has a lot to do with our orientation – our scripting while growing up. We come to this life with limitless potentials and free-will spirit, only to be scripted to think in one way. Suddenly everything is reduced to the survival of the fittest. We reduce everything including our relationships into minions of battles to be won. When we out-talked our partners during disagreements, we feel buoyed up and exhilarating. What a way to think?
There are some who employ tantrums to win their little battles over others. They cling to the make-believe that if you can’t beat them, discredit them. So they toss words aimed to disorganize the psyche of the other party rendering him/her inferior and/or less of an animal. This, then, draws the anger of the other party to hit back resulting in deep cracks in their relationship. Maturity is not about physical expression, it has much to do with one’s ability to control his emotions in the sight of provocation. To Eleanor Roosevelt, nobody can make you inferior if you don’t let them.
You need to stop reducing the relationships in your life into minions of battles to be won over. We need a new paradigm of thought. Instead of thinking win-lose, why not think win-win. You win, I win. You cannot begin to imagine the happiness that will be opened to you when instead, you endeavor to understand the standpoint of the other party. Sometimes we deceive ourselves when we utter statements like, “I understand your point”, ‘I have been where you are right now” and “I feel for you”. No, you don’t. Not at all. To demonstrate your understanding, discard the narration of your autobiography and listen for once to the other party. Sometimes by thinking their way you win their confidence for yourself which brings huge dividends in the future.
Sometimes the third factor is Christ Jesus – sacrifice, unconditional love, and/or selflessness. Think about it. Perhaps it’s win-win. Or collective victory. Or it’s you.