Saturday, September 21, 2013

A dangerous nonsense

The struggle is to be magnanimous when you don't want to be, when no one is expressing much, or any, forgiveness towards you. That is the challenge. 

I was reading Erich Fromm. Don't ask me why. The book (The Art of Loving) is not nearly as good as I remember it being, though I would still recommend reading it. Funny, that. 

But he says that - I'm paraphrasing here - respect is the absence of exploitation. That phrase stuck with me. It is very easily understood. 

Exploitation is treating somebody unfairly, for gain. But what of when there is no gain, there is just the unfair treatment for loss, often mutual, often only an imagined gain. You lose respect and other things; vital components of love. You gain nothing by the behavior but are compelled by some inner force, some clenched knot of self that refuses to let go, the inner-poison that is somehow meant to affect others.

It is all a dangerous nonsense.

In love, nobody would consciously wish to treat someone unfairly. In love. But there it is. It is easy to recognize when you are the victim, more demanding to acknowledge self-wrongdoing. I know. How sudden the voice can interrupt the voice: No, no, no, not possible. 

But there it is.

It has lately been much on my mind: the need to forgive, to be fair. We know where it comes from. But then where does it go.