Focus on the cause that brings us together, not on the conditions and conditionings that push us apart
We all are irreducibly individual. Naturally, we all have varying opinions on various issues. When these opinions differ strongly, conflicts occur. How can we deal with such conflicts maturely?
By understanding what pushes us apart, understanding what brings us together, and focusing on the latter.
What pushes us apart is our differing opinions. Our opinions arise from, among other things, our conditions and our conditionings. Our conditions refer to the physical, social and financial situations we are in and have been in. Our conditionings refer to the psychological impressions that have been formed within us, from this and previous lives. And because we all have different conditions and different conditionings, we naturally see things differently.
Amid such differing visions and opinions, what can bring us together? A common cause. That cause may be family, community, profession, social work or devotional service – or even a combination of these. Ultimately, the greatest unifying force is the connection we innately and eternally share with everyone: our spiritual connection. We all are souls, who are parts of the whole, the ultimate reality, Krishna. By focusing on his service and understanding that his service leads to everyone’s ultimate good, we can come together, despite our differences.
The Pandavas brilliantly exemplify the unity of purpose amidst the diversity of personality. Each of them is a powerful individual in their own right, with their own talents and takes on issues. Perhaps the most radical difference was between the pacific Yudhishthira and the bellicose Bhima. Arjuna’s personality was in between, offering balance.
The Bhagavad-gita’s beginning depicts how the Pandavas were united in the service of Krishna – they all blew their conch-shells to signify their readiness to unitedly work for Krishna’s cause (01.15-16).
By similarly focusing on our common cause, we can transcend mutual differences and work harmoniously.
Think it over:
- In our relationships, what pushes us apart?
- In our relationships, what brings us together?
- How did the Pandavas work unitedly?
01.16 King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conchshell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka.
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