Friday, 22 June 2012

The Anatomy of Being Good.

Before you read further, this is not a moral lecture. It is not a debate. It is not a question. You have to read really carefully, maybe even read every alternative sentence backwards and you will find the hidden, Satanic message – Pl brush your teeth before going to bed.

Goodness is an all-consuming, overarching concept which can somehow, represent something as irrelevant as eating your vitamins, to the larger accepted wrong of not killing other dudes. While I am absolutely no authority on the benefits of eating vitamins daily, I do know a bit about relationships. Having lived vicariously through a million-- Yes, sometimes it felt like  I was a part of the relationship between McDreamy and Grey—I know there is an almost symbiotic and sometimes parasitical connection between Goodness and the Relationship itself. For the purpose of ease, Goodness would represent most tenets of decency- honesty, trust, respect, yada yada.

All relationships are hinged on a mutually weird contract of goodness. Much like fingerprints and pet peeves, everyone has a very unique idea of ‘being good’. And, that’s where the trouble usually begins. When we ask someone to subscribe to our Goodness Video Library, and insist that from hereon, their tastes must only be Jack Black films, we’re only setting ourselves up for disappointment and heartache. 
Before the witch doctors come rushing in to burn me at the stake of, ‘but somethings like love, honour, fidelity are not individualistic’.

Please step back, and they most certainly are.

 Almost every idea of goodness is as unique, as the cowboy himself. There maybe many intersecting themes and beliefs,but the exact measure of what it is to be good, is only defined in our heads alone.

A guy, in an existing relationship, takes a strange, new girl to a hotel room. He picked this girl up at his neighbourhood bar, and she is partial to moccasins ( this was included, if like me, you were a fan of detail).
Would you say, him taking her to a hotel room was betrayal enough? Even though, once inside, all they did was poke holes in Freuds theories. Will betrayal/ not being good, begin with the first contact of skin? Or did it begin, when he told the new girl that he wishes his girlfriend would just leave?

This can be debated a million ways, but the harsh truth is- once you’re in a relationship, you’ll expect your cohort in weirdness, to subscribe to your version. And that's when Goodness takes on its most alien form. That’s when it is, its most difficult, most struggled with and most flouted self. If you think an emotional dependency/aggressive flirtation outside your twosome is perfectly ok, (you would be ok if your partner had one), then to restrain yourself from it would be a daily struggle. An everyday denial of Self.

There is a constant struggle between what is good nurturing and empowering to us and what is good, nurturing and empowering for your partner. In a relationship however, the Good for Self is often subservient to Good for Someone Else.  We project our versions of goodness onto the other person; all the while experiencing that being good for another is difficult and often unnatural.

 So, why do we do it? Why do we struggle and conform to versions of goodness, not even our own?

 So that someone else, conforms to ours.

It is really just that, isn't it?

A silent plea- Hey there, I’m going to do what you think is good and right, as long as you do the same for me. And maybe together, we won’t mess this up.

It really is, just that.

1 comment:

  1. not necessarily. ur conclusion is too much of an absolute. at times you conform to your partners 'goodness' cause you actually believe that its a good thing, or you just want to escape the unnecessary brawl that not conforming to it would create. it is also possible that your partner is so different from you that you conform only to keep the relationship going. but it is not always as cynical as you are making it sound. cause if logically it was this simple then relationships would have been simple. and all relationships would have been equal, with no reachers or settlers (even if that equation changes quite often in a relationship). cuz more often than not, someone would give more and someone would takes less from a relationship. also, there seems to be a difference between goodness as an intuition or acts conforming to your partners 'goodness.' you cant change your intuition about things. if your judgment tells you that a certain thing is right, then its just right. your partner cant really change that in your head unless you actually start believing in it yourself. all you can do is to agree to do or most often refrain from doing a certain thing.but like you said its hard to do or refrain from doing a certain thing when you dont believe in it. and thats why people are successful in conforming when things are fine, but when things are really down then they fall back on their real self. so if youve been successful in doing (or not doing) that thing in that moment of truth, then know that youve done it cause you care about that person and the relationship, cause you think thats the right thing to do in a relationship, cause your deep conscience, which is so intertwined with your actual 'goodness,' makes you do the 'right thing.' its not because youre thinking of what you'll get out of it. but because as a person you actually believe in that goodness, which makes your goodness not that different from your partners.

    and if one is not able to conform to their partners goodness in that moment, then they should know that they dont connect with each other at that very basic level, which you call, 'goodness.' and that is why this simple 'silent plea' of yours is most difficult to explain in many relationships.