A quick flashback to my fresh days in the university when I was in Queen’s Hall. I went to the study room one evening. Our study room was small, so there was almost always a competition for seats.
Luckily, when I got there, there were two empty seats side-by-side. There was a printed paper on the table facing one of the seats. It looked as though someone was there. I sat on the other chair (facing the empty table).
Shortly after, a gentleman I had seen in class before, came in. Because there was no other chair, he took the one where the document was and sat at my other side. Coincidentally, he was there to study the same textbook I was learning! We exchanged pleasantries for the first time and I realized he was a great guy. I had made a new friend.
Several moments later, a lady appeared by my side demanding for my seat. Apparently, she had reserved the spot my new friend took the chair from, with her document. It looked to her like I was the one who took her seat.
“You really think I was the one who took your chair?” I asked calmly. “No, I know you took it,” she retorted. I realized if I insisted, I could dent my new friendship. I didn’t want that, though he deserved it. With each passing second, the lady’s voice grew louder and louder.
If I were the gentleman, I would have given back the chair I took. But clearly, he wasn’t ready to do that. So for peace to reign, I decided to give up my seat. I left without another word, as though I was the one at fault.
In life, we must always focus on the greater good, rather than insisting on justice every time. In this story, that greater good was for peace to prevail and I was ready to make the sacrifice to keep the peace.
You may have to accept defeat in an election to prevent war, even if you know you genuinely won. You may have to choose to silently pay a debt left by your corrupt predecessor, if too many innocent people would suffer if you seek justice.
This is the world we live in. Some people aren’t ready to sweep the front of their houses, so some of us have to sometimes cater for their dirt to keep a clean city. But guess what, it is worth it.
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