I have long been a fan of the Bee Gees, particularly their post-disco era when they were disrespected and largely unpopular  and where they were trying to blind their original balladry along with the falsetto that they had honed during their 1970’s heydey. My favorite album of theirs is “Size Isn’t Everything,” which has a lot of personal relevance to me, something that is evident in such song titles from the album as “Paying The Price Of Love,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls ,” “Kiss Of Life,” “Fallen Angel,” “Blue Island,” and “Omega Man.” I had once thought to do a song analysis of “Omega Man” because of its own relevance in my life, but I was concerned that the song could easily be misconstrued because of its frank nature (and my own frank nature gets me in enough trouble as it is).
What relevance does a Bee Gees song have to the subject of today’s blog entry, though? A great deal. As a student of military history and someone who tends to find my share (and the share of several small countries) of drama and conflict within my own life, I have seen disagreements and conflicts for a wide variety of reasons. Often I wonder what sort of best case scenario can come from the disagreements. In some matters, one must agree to disagree, at best, because the underlying disagreements are so serious that they cannot be compromised and any victory would mean the victory of one person or one side and defeat for another. Such matters are zero sum games and are not amenable to friendly resolution, especially where pride and power are at stake.
Other conflicts are fairly consistent and interminable but where there is a great deal of room for compromise, albeit compromise where one side tends to feel better about it and where larger and more ultimate quarrels are merely postponed for a less auspicious time when they finally flare into horrific conflict. Such were the compromises that kept America barely together for decades until the rupture of the Civil War, and such are the sorts of compromises that we find now, with growing dissatisfaction at the state of our nation and our society, all while political talking heads fail to find a better way for the problems that we face, since they usually argue with different visions of differing amounts of good and evil.
There are, however, many conflicts which are both entirely unnecessary (not that this makes them any less common) as well as entirely amenable to positive solutions for everyone. However much I may at times dwell on my problems and concerns (and I hope that no one who reads such posts is offended into thinking such matters as mere dirty laundry), I tend to do so in the search for solutions to those problems, as well as the larger context of which those problems are a part. That which robs me of sleep and what little peace of mind I possess will find its way into my writings, and the only way to avoid that is to avoid such situations in the first place or to resolve them openly and quickly. The longer they drag on the more of a paper trail they leave.
How does one resolve such problems successfully? First, one must set a context of safety and security for all parties. It is only when all parties feel safe in a given situation that they will be open to expressing themselves as well as be open to understanding others. When there are misunderstandings and miscommunication, as is all too common in life, we must first build the right environment before we can practice the right behaviors before we can achieve the right results. Each of these elements is a difficult matter and far from straightforward, and often a great deal of time and effort and outside assistance is necessary when two (or more parties) simply cannot see eye to eye because of some horrible mistaken view that becomes hard to repent of because it leads people to act in such an evil manner that they are unable to easily retract because of their desire to be justified in what they have done rather than be justified in the eyes of God and in their brothers and sisters in Christ. It is only when our desire for truth and love and reconciliation outweigh our desires for vengeance and spite and conflict that we can overcome such matters and correct our faulty way of viewing others so that we may live in a pleasing way to God.
Let us therefore think on these positive matters, in that all who seek to follow God’s ways recognize the need to act in love and mercy towards others in the knowledge that acting in love will eventually produce positive feelings towards others, given that our feelings will change in order to justify the actions that we are consistently taking. If we want to feel right with others, we must do right to others. So long as we do what is wrong to others, we will have no shortage of emotional reasoning to justify the wickedness that we are doing when we treat others coldly, lie about them, and other related sins of abuse. If we do what is right for the right reasons, out of a heart of love and concern for others and for their well-being, our heart will eventually catch up with our spirits and our actions. And if we wish to be right with others more than we wish to be right in our own eyes, we will have the chance to overcome any sort of misunderstandings that we face. Let us hope that we are all so concerned with the well-being of others, and in our desires to get along with everyone who is willing to be friendly and kind to us that we are able to overcome whatever troubles we face in our lives and in our relationships.