Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love, Relationships and Violence

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living wih the results of other people's thinking."
- Steve Jobs [in his 2005 Stanford commencement address]

Self Righteousness

When I watched Jonathan Haidt's TED Talk about Morality and Openness to Experience, it became clear to me that being subjective in any decision making is the primary reason we are rarely open minded. In other words, objectivity can only prevail when we do not take sides.

Unfortunately, every one of us thinks they are invariably right.
This is why it is very difficult to tell someone that s/he is making the wrong decisions in life.

Abusive Relationships

That said, I took time this morning to listen to Jam 316, hosted by Frederick Njiiri on Radio 316. Listeners were calling in to share their views after a lady called in, wondering what to do since her husband beats her up.

When asked if she has shared her predicament with her family or close friends, she said that she hasn't, because she will be embarassed when others know that she is a victim of domestic violence.

As I listened to divergent opinions from other listeners who called in or shared on the show's Facebook page, I was vexed by two things:

  1. a majority has gradually accepted that physical abuse by one spouse in marriages and relationships is a perfectly normal, natural and ordinary thing.
  2. victims of domestic violence are unable to leave abusive relationships because of kids, stigma and a dependence on the abusive spouse or partner.
Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

I find it really hard to understand why people

Granted, I am not married nor in a relationship, those are situations I have opted to stay out of as long as possible for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post.

My question however remains: Are the people we closely relate with really indispensable?

Is it so hard to leave a situation that adversely affects you? Is there a shortage of spouses and partners in life, that I unaware of? What happened to freedom and choice? Is continually living with some people really worth the trouble?

Self Deprecation

Stephen King, in The Dark Tower, writes
True love, like any other strong and addictive drug, is boring—once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome.
. . except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.
And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.
His words somewhat explain the irrational behavior that many people exhibit when they are in relationships.

The Idea of True Love

I subscribe to the Christian faith, but I contend that some definitions hold true universally. In her song My Idea of Heaven, Leigh Nash concludes that being with family is indeed her idea of Heaven.

In my mind, families are predicated on relationships. Family should therefore be the last place where one should be harmed - especially relationships and families that we get into voluntarily through dating and marriage.

Furthermore, I have always maintained that things don't get bad over time, they start bad.
1 Corinthians 13 provides us with a very good definition of love. Have a look at it and should you be in a situation that falls short of this, my advice is that you should get out of it as soon as possible. It surely isn't worth your while.


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