The “Chicken and the Egg” issue is as old as our first parents. What came first, nobody really knows. The important thing is that both of them benefit man, and by themselves, neither of them is asking or fighting for top billing.

Who is to blame when people have different opinions, and the fight flares up and is blown out of proportion? Is it a question merely of who started it or who continued the fight or argument? Sometimes, we have such a strong obsession and preoccupation with being right. So we do not want to let go of the argument until it is unanimously decided that we are right. Is it more important to be right and considered the show’s star than to keep loving relationships? What good will it do us if we come out the winners in the argument and make the whole company of employees or the whole community feel like losers?

Wherever the argument or whatever it may be about, the bottom line is always: pride. The thinking most often is: “How could he have done that to me? How could he have said that about me?” Now, if the offended party is bent on proving to all that he is right and has been wronged, he will devise all the ways to try and put the other one down. The original hurt or issue may already be a thing of the past, yet he will refuse to let it go until “everybody” knows he is right. The price to pay for being right is quite high. Many people suffer unnecessarily.

That is why I love children. Children fight and argue. They scream and then don’t speak to each other. They probably also try to drive home the point and insist their point of view is right, but after a while, they know from their sixth sense that things are just not right. Most likely, then, the following day, the warring camps are talking to each other. Often, it is as simple as a forgive-and-forget philosophy. Their simplicity dictates that it is more important to “be friends again” than to be right.

Indeed it is very easy to keep a rift going. It is so easy for adults to carry the resentment through the years. It takes some effort for the humble one to say, “Come on, enough of this. Let us stop continuing this cold shoulder treatment and move ahead again as friends” This sounds so simple and childlike, but I see it in the children, and it works.

Instead of wasting energy trying to keep the fight going by adding fuel, the call of the hour is to stop the fight. I have seen it too many times when group members feed each other with more information to incriminate the so-called “enemy.” They confer with each other and buzz each other like ants, but instead of passing on food for the soul, they pass on more and more stories and information against one another. “Nakita mo ang, ginawa niya? Alam mo ba ang sinabi niya?” and so on and so forth. The “fight” continues. Pretty soon, nobody knows who started it. Nobody knows what the real issues are in the first place. Even if we want to point an accusing finger at the one who started it all, it really does not matter if someone did start it (because it has to be so; otherwise, there is no fight), the fight only becomes a full-blown one when somebody else continues it.

It is also not enough for one party to say, “Okay, I’ll keep quiet and stop all this nonsense.” “Then what? Nothing is resolved. It is all pent-up resentment. But if either party says, “Okay, we have to move on in love. We have to be friends again.” Then now, we are talking business. Like the children, there should be no room for indifference. It is such hypocrisy that I see this happening so much, even in our communities in the Church. People hear the same Mass and recite the same prayers, yet when it comes to the sign of peace, they deliberately avoid eye contact with the one they dislike. God said before you bring your gifts to the altar, make peace with your brother first. I cannot understand why some people seem dumb and deaf to this message. Could it be because they believe they are right? Is their stance correct, and the other is wrong? Does it matter who is right? Does it matter if the other one is really to blame? If the other person is really at fault, the other person is really the big sinner. Does it make the one unwilling to make peace right by thinking he is right, good, noble, and well-intentioned? Could not pride be ruling that person’s behavior? Could not self-righteousness be the hindrance to peace? How can anyone take the Body of Christ with a clear conscience, knowing fully well that he does not just hate the sin of the sinner he hates? He hates the person supposedly committing the sin according to the “right” and “correct” one.

Am I so happy that I am not God? I know for a fact that I can judge neither of the warring parties. All I can do is pray that the one who refuses to forgive may be forgiven by God and receive the graces He so readily gives all those willing to love. I try to do my best to patch all these differences. I just hope that one day God will not blame me for not trying hard enough. I want to promise Him that I will continue to work for peace. I will continue to look at the ones who refuse to look at their own faults as lovingly as God looks upon all of us.

Jesus Our Light

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