We made head-way in solving the world’s problems last night–my family, friends and myself. Though I think may be on my husband’s “bad” list now as I’m only getting necessary words from him and no warm fuzzies. But that’s OK for now; I’ll take it one problem at a time.
We had a casual family and friend gathering. There was some wine involved, and vodka, and a little Lady Godiva White Chocolate liqueur, so lips were a little loose and tongues were a-wagging. All was going well until a good friend suggested that my dear hubby was “high maintenance.” My father-in-law and brother-in-law thought it absurd and called me in the room to verify. I did. I verified my friend was right in her assessment. It did little to appease the men. We pulled my sister-in-law into the room and even got my mother-in-law involved. There developed a definite divide. We became more partisan than congress. It was the women against the men.
But the girl vs. boy thing was not the world problem we solved. Amidst the laughter and vows to be self-sufficient, my father-in-law brought up an interesting point: it was all a matter of perspective.
And it is. What I consider “high maintenance” is low maintenance according to others and vice verse. The thing is, and here’s where we made progress in solving all the ills of society, I realized no one can ever be right, therefore no one can ever be wrong when a problem is a matter of perspective.
Philosophers have been going on for centuries about perspective, but for some reason they haven’t gotten around to pointing out that NO ONE IS RIGHT when a problem is a matter of perspective. They all seem stuck on the idea of changing your perspective as if that was the ultimate answer. For at least 2 millenia we’ve been blathering on about finding an Archimedean Point so that we can completely remove ourselves from a situation to get a clear perspective–but did Archimedes give us steps on how to make it all right from there? No. More recently, in the last century, Richard Bach gave us the famous line: Perspective–use it or lose it. Great advice for looking at a situation from a different perspective, but again, what do we do from there?
The Catholics and Protestants knew for centuries that they held different perspectives and ravaged war across Northern Ireland anyway. The same could be said between the Israelis and Palestinians, vegetarians and carnivores, the Goths versus the Preppies in the 1980’s. Everybody has a different perspective about what is right, wholesome and in good fashion. And we all accept that, but what we neglect to remember is that when it’s a matter of perspective, NO ONE IS RIGHT. So we say, “yes, they believe differently than I do, therefore I must make them agree with me.” But that gets us no where. Because no one is right to begin with.
So why fuss about it all? Why not just acknowledge that no one’s right, including ourselves, apply kindergarten rules and play nicely?
I’ll start at home by letting my husband know that even if I consider him high-maintenance, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. And I’m not expecting him to change at all.