Enlightenment versus the no-win scenario
Zachary M.C. Harris
Saturday, October 03, 2015
Today is October 3rd,, which happens to be the birthday of two different women I dated. There are eight years apart in their ages, but significantly different in their behaviors. It’s weird because the younger one, whom I dated last, I felt as though I was going to marry. On this day two years ago, I was in Atlanta to celebrate her birthday, and the funny thing was that on that day, as well as my whole trip there, I was confronted with a number of no-win scenarios. It’s like the test that they give you at Star Fleet Academy where you captain the Kobayashi Maru in a situation in which you cannot win, but it is designed to see how you can handle that scenario.
Unlike in the movie and the television series, you cannot reprogram the simulation in real life so that you win. The exception is that sometimes you can manipulate a situation to allow it to blowback on the other person(s), but that is rare.
The reason I thought of this really had nothing to do with me and that person, nor that this is the week of her birthday and she crossed my mind, but in the admission of a friend and client of mine in regards to his relationship meltdown. Quintessentially, someone told him that he was in a no-win situation where no matter what he did in regards to his woman’s family –accepting them past all of the hurts they inflicted on her or rejecting them because of that-- she would despise him either way.
I didn’t necessarily disagree with the advice/analysis that he was given, but went the other way in regards to understanding life. Based on his past episodes with her, I advised him not to tie the knot or decide to have another child until they were one hundred percent headed in the same direction mind, body and soul, which meant that some of the things that transpired in the past would not happen in the future. I started digging up the things which happened in my past relationships and explained the concept of understanding that each day is a new day and gives a person a chance to do things differently. Call it the fallacy of hope but it lies within the realm of possibility. At some point, sometimes people get sick of things always turning out a certain way and then make a committed change in their behavior. If we all let some of the things that happen be our final view of the next person, not only would we miss out on some wonderful things and some wonderful people, but we and they would also not have the chance to grow and evolve as both individuals and partners.
I can look back and say that I have been the person who needed enlightenment and that in other cases, it was the other person who needed it. No matter what, what are most important is your reactions to the scenario which unfolds, and it’s always best never to overreact or act badly in such a way that you have forever corrupted the chance for a positive more forward. This means not blurting out [hurtful] things which could be one hundred percent true, nor flying off the handle with violence or even legal jurisprudence [especially if there are children or financial relationships involved].
Sometimes, the best thing to do in the no-win situation is just to disengage, let the chips fall where they may, and then let the other person discover the truth and then re-approach you on their own terns. This usually happens when you have been accused of something that you didn’t do at all. The caveat to this is that I myself have rarely witnessed women eagerly and earnestly admitting that they were in the wrong and making things right. It’s actually quite hilarious, because as I write this, I have “I’m a Fool to Want You” playing in the background (Terri Lynn Carrington w/Chaka Khan – The Mosaic Project).
You see, enlightenment [which is rarely fully effused throughout our mind and souls] make you execute some wiser decisions which has you not playing the fool. This means no screaming matches, no hurtful comments/outbursts, and not doing anything which you can be arrested and/or jailed for. Enlightenment is the antithesis of the no-win scenario, just as one of the major laws of combat is that you win the fight that you never became part of in the first place. Now, winning isn’t everything, and in the bigger picture, as men above all other things, what we truly covet is peace. Peace at work and peace at home. No need for constant issues with the people we work with, neighbors, and especially the significant other in our life.
Enlightenment will make a man realize that sometimes he actually needs to call the cops, file a police report and walk away from a situation. Or there is the case when a person says something to you that totally places a wedge in the relationship that can never be lifted.
I can’t say that I have always made the right decisions when dealing with conflict, but at the same time, I have never been arrested or jailed for losing it.
However, enlightenment also allows us to understand that a person’s past does not necessarily dictate their future. There are times when I noted the tales in a person’s past and surmised that maybe they have identified what they did wrong and what not to do again; I can’t say that this always worked out, but again, I will not ever turn away from this belief. And what I told my friend was essentially that, that we can choose to look at people and while understanding and noting their past, look forward to a different future with them.
The reality is that there are no easy answers, and that people are complex. What works in some cases won’t work in others. But I am just going to offer what I can, when I can.