The afternoon was beautiful, the blue sky showed just a few clouds in the distance and the river Cherwell remained calmed as usual with a few couples punting in the distance.
My friend professor H, is very well known for his discoveries in physics and specially for his theories in quantum mechanics. But that evening, his lesson had nothing to do with the behaviour of particles or other dimensions.
He was more quiet than usual, but today he looked more distant than other times. I didn’t want to interrupt his thoughts and I just limited to walk beside him in silence.
He suddenly stopped and said in a loud voice: “Everything is just about understanding” and continued his promenade.
I thought he was talking about one of his well-known and controverted theories, but few minutes later he told me he was feeling bad about some disagreements he had with a friend the night before.
“As usual, people express their opinions on certain subjects and then debate begins. One side is more passionate then the other and, of course, everybody want to be right.”, He said in a paused voice.
“But I have learnt that there is no right or wrong, everything is a matter of understanding, of perspective”. And in the end, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, the real challenge is trying to understand the point of view of the other person, not imposing our own”.
“New theories replace old ones, these survive until the last person who believed in them lives. Then new knowledge replaces the old one, we then believe that is the only truth for a while and then, the cycle repeats ad infinitum”.
“Maybe it is part of our nature… Maybe we need to go through each of these cycles in order to understand and redefine our own concepts”.
He had managed to apply his research methods and theories to his life in an impressive way. And I had once more, learnt a lesson from this wise man.
Trying to convince others that our point of view is the only valid perspective that exists, is useless. Life has taught us throughout history that there are always different perceptions, ideas, standpoints. There is always a reason for everything and in the end, Light is shed upon darkness. Answers appear for most of our questions and we finally find the reason why things happened the way they did.
We might not always find those reasons, but that is because we are not seeing the whole scene. But if we learn to be kind with others, try to understand their ways and be open to their ideas and reasons. We will finally stop our inner need to be right and in control all the time.
This does not mean that you need to stop searching for your own truth, or defending your principles and ideals, just stop and listen, try to understand their reasons, learn from them and start once more. We begin anew every morning, even when we think we just continue the last day´s journey.
Stop trying to be always right or to win every battle, learn, try to understand and learn once more.
Life is too short and marvellous to be whining all the time about petty issues. And you are too noble to give your energy and precious time, to retrograde attitudes.