Record of Wrongs

Conflict relies on a record of wrongs: recalling how/when someone has crossed us, the personnel file tracks infractions from an employee, uncollected debts are recounted. As such, we’re inherently taught to avoid certain people, to label them as unreliable or assume the worst of intentions, and to withhold generosity, forgiveness, or compassion. It’s reasonable: we want to avoid pain.

Yet, when things are flipped, we expect the opposite for ourselves: we implore our spouse to think of the many things we’ve done right rather than the few mistakes we’ve made, we show debtors the majority of on time payments while providing explanations for when things fell short, we explain that misstep isn’t our intention. It’s reasonable: we want to be understood.

What if we kept a record of rights instead of wrongs? It’s better to be cheated, than to be unloving. It’s better to be hurt, than to live a life without compassion.

I believe that assuming the best from others and giving them the same consideration that we’d like to have ourselves ultimately leads to less pain and wrongs than treating relationships like landmines.


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