The Othello Situation

Pieces of Othello

Do you know the Othello game board?

Yea, it’s the game where you play with little round pieces with two sides each: white and black.

Now what I mean by an Othello situation here: take an Othello piece and place it in front of you, the white side to you and the black side to the world. You will only be able to see the white side, and if there’s a person in front of you, s/he will only see the black side.

Now, which one is right?

The answer is both.

The point is you just can’t see the black and that other person can’t see the white, but both white and black exist.

That is what I call an “Othello Situation”. There are so many perspectives that people see on a single case and every one of them is right, depending on the reason and situation. We might not understand why they see the case their way, and they won’t understand why we see the same case our way either, and we DO NOT have to understand. We also don’t have to agree with each other either.

The only thing that we MUST do, though, is to acknowledge that the other perspective exist, that we are not the only ones who have perspectives, and that our perspectives are only a part of a whole bigger perspectives.

Agree to disagree. But also appreciate others’ perspectives.

Now, you might be wondering why suddenly I am writing this kind of topic. It’s just that, we are living in a very complicated world, where there are so many complicated issues. It just seems ridiculous to me that there are so many people trying so hard to fix things only by theory. Instead of doing the real thing, they’re trying to fix those issues by competing with each other to find as many supporters as they can so that people would think highly of their cause. The first thing that they do is to win people, then to manipulate those people into acting FOR them. Now, when the cause succeed, they will be the ones remembered, not the actual doer.

Now, what’s the connection with the “Othello Situation”?

It usually happens in the process of “recruiting followers”. They’re persuading people even manipulating them into believing in their cause. It might be just fine when they succeed. Those people will follow them and they will live happily ever after. The end.

The problem is sometimes, they just don’t.

People CANNOT always agree with us, and when that happens, we have to follow the Othello Situation. Not only to agree to disagree, but also although we disagree with them, we have to acknowledge their perspectives. That way, nobody will hurt or be hurt. There will be no conflicts that are extended into violence or even war. It’s that simple.

When people don’t agree with you, just leave them alone.

There’s this ridiculous example…

…well, in my opinion yes, it’s ridiculous…

…that there’s some kind of an implicit war in my country between some certain religious groups, and for me that is just completely absurd.

I mean, seriously. We’re talking about faith here. Some people believe in something, some others believe in other things, and the rest just don’t believe anything. What’s wrong with that? It’s a human right to believe or not to believe in anything. And who are we to judge them?

Religions and faith are things that embedded beyond a person’s privacy and that is not something we can poke around without the person’s permission. So, when you’re trying to make people believe in something that they don’t want to believe, yes it’s offending. That’s why they become defensive, and when they feel that they’ve been cornered, they’ll fight back. That’s natural.

As a human being, we are free to choose. Therefore, we have to appreciate this freedom by appreciating people’s choice.

Only then, harmony will not only be a utopia.


March 4, 2013

Cindy “Zee” Alvionita

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