Monday, March 5, 2012

Dealing with Perceived Betrayal - Chivalry & Empathy

159. Zulfiqar I
Victory without chivalry is not victory.
Defeat with chivalry is not defeat.

Not War.
And I think this is the best way forward for anyone anytime. The prose was written about war, a serious endeavour at any time, but for many of us, thankfully, we are not involved in any adventurous land war. We are middling our way through life, working, sleeping and playing. No war zone for thousands of miles, no war correspondence embedded in our daily life to witness and record our enduring joy and sadness, and our conflicts with our neighbours, co-workers and family.

Because so long as we are a part of humanity, conflicts will arise. Betrayal, or perception of betrayal is not war, but it is something which we all have faced to a certain degree. But betrayal, just like war, must be handled with care. And chivalry. To win vengeance or revenge is no victory, not when it is done in hot-temper or cold-blooded malice. Oh, how we are often tempted by our perception of someone's betrayal to act against that person. Thankfully, nowadays we seldom reach for our gun or our dagger. But often enough we hit back... With mankind's own Weapon of Mass Destruction, the WMD of Words.

I do not know how people resolve their feelings of betrayal. I myself, find such feelings a dirty, dirty stain in my conscience. So I distrust my mental calculations, I discount my anger, and I try (as humanly possible) to detach myself from my mind's sense of injustice, and its machinations against the betrayer. How can I believe my feelings and my so-called reason, when the entire scheme is all about feeling betrayed, and the accompanying feeling of hate and anger.

Two sides of a Coin. 
The reason why I detach myself is because everything that happen is for the ultimate good end. And the ultimate good end is the knowledge of myself, the knowledge of God, the knowledge of both this world and the next. That is the ultimate reward that we are playing for. We are not desiring short term gratification offered by this world, nor are we desiring something other than God in the next. These things we must consider especially when we are in the throes of righteous indignation. After all, we do not know what is in the heart of the betrayer. We do not know even that he considers his deed as an act of betrayal. And on our side, have we TRULY been honest and transparent, and have we ourselves TRULY kept to our side of the bargain?

Chivalry 24/7. 
To release ourselves from the bitter poison of human failings we must do this - to see other people in the best light possible, and to see ourselves in the worst light possible. And we must do this in the most dire straits - when we think we have been betrayed. It is easy to love the lovely, it is easy to trust the trustworthy, but when we are so biased and prejudiced, and we must accept the fact that this is our natural baser habits, we must learn to love the unlovely, and we must learn to trust the untrustworthy.

For God loves this way. Everyday He looks at us unlovely humans, and He thinks us lovely. Everyday He looks at us untrustworthy humans, and decides to trust us. Again and again and again.

Don't you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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