Saturday, 18 March 2017

Oh, Really?

Usually a couple feels proud to identify as the ‘better half’ of one another. The definition of ‘half’ in the Oxford Dictionary is “either of two equal or corresponding parts into which something is or can be divided.” Similarly, the Free Online Dictionary defines it as “one of two equal parts that together constitutes a whole.” This means that one part is incomplete without the other to be the whole. Thus ‘better half’ demands two individuals to be compatible, thinking the same things, talking the same things, liking the same things and doing the same things; otherwise how could they become two halves?
 In reality, every individual is different and complete in themselves. So why expect two people to be identical? Individual differences should be celebrated and co-ordinated in a good relationship. In his book, Healing Relationships, Lama Choedak Yuthok, a public speaker and Buddhist teacher, says that if an opposition party is good, it can keep a government ‘honest’; a partner can perform the same role. This saying makes a lot of sense. The beauty of a good relationship shines only when both parties accommodate each other’s views, not when each person is trying to impose their own views upon the other.
One of the many reasons behind turbulent marriages may be a misconception of ‘better half.’ One may think of being incomplete without the other, so they try to bring the other into their terms and conditions to be the ‘whole.’ Sometimes this tug of war can break their relationship irreparably creating inside them ‘holes’ after ‘holes.’
To avoid this situation, everybody should always keep in mind that they are complete in themselves. They do not need anybody to be ‘whole’. However, the company of another person helps them to explore and expand themselves. When a ‘positive terminal’ and a ‘negative terminal’ of two batteries are matched electrical energy is produced; two positives or two negatives can never give us that energy. Likewise, when two different individuals who may share some interests and differ in others, come together they can do many wonderful things, such as to create a deeper meaning to life, to learn to love unconditionally, to forgive, to keep promises and much more. In addition, they can share family responsibilities together.
Therefore, in my opinion it would be more sensible to identify a ‘better half’ as a ‘better opposite.’ According to the Oxford Dictionary, the meaning of ‘opposite’ is ‘having position on the other side of somebody.’ Referring to Lama Choedak Yuthok above, like a good opposition party which keeps an eye upon every movement of the government, and offers correct advice when the government goes wrong so that it can get back on track, a real partner tries to show those aspects of their partner which cannot be seen by the person in question.
So, two people in a committed relationship can contribute greatly to understanding ‘ownself’ at a deeper level, by being each other’s mirror and one taking care of another’s invisible side. Such a relationship will be rich, sustainable, flowing and inspirational, which helps to strengthen the positive aspects of spouses while mitigating their weaknesses. In fact, they can be ‘complements’ rather than ‘halves.’

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, March 17, 2017) 
[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).