It's no shocking surprise when i'm called upon by a friend to play damage control for a failed relationship that ended abruptly. I find that i'm a friendly guy; the kind of friend that get's called on as a shoulder to cry on but never anything further and that doesn't really bother me all too much.
But today i was presented with a big surprise; my father had broken the ties with his relationship. The fact that it had ended wasn't really a surprise to me and i'll go into why later. It was the fact that it came so soon.
My father has always been a bit of an extremist when it comes to his views. Very closed minded and very unwavering. His views are his moral code and he would rather die before he compromised on any of them. Which is all great in theory because he fights for what he believes in regardless of the consequences. I would favor him over someone who changes who they are on a moral level everytime someone new enters the picture.
But the fundamental values of all relationships is that of a give and take relationship. You have to accept who you're with for who they are, the good and the bad, and trust that they'll do the same for you. Now, does that ever happen perfectly and smoothly? Never ever, and even if they accept the baggage, fundamental flows and other negative aspects of their companion, they'll still fight and bicker about them from time to time because well they're flaws, and we as a people love to point them out to people to help us feel better.
If you don't agree with me on that point, just think real hard about the last argument you had with anyone. You argue because you have two fundamentally different views between you. One of you states your views, the other points out the flaws, you counter with flaws in theirs and the cycle eventually fizzles out when one or both of you realizes how stupid and petty it is, or you both run out of mean things to say and you calm down.
I digress, the fundamental issue with my dads beliefs is that he did not have any tolerance for opposing beliefs. That and he refused to accept other peoples baggage. He never really realized how shallow and self centered this is and i doubt he ever will. Because he's got some pretty heavy baggage himself yet he just wontonly expects people to accept it and get rid of theirs.
Again, it's a give and take relationship. If you expect your significant other to get rid of their baggage, you better damn well be ready to get rid of your own.
The moral of the story here is: keeping your mind too open will make your brain fall out, but keeping your mind closed will suffocate it. Be open to peoples opinions, be accepting to peoples baggage and don't forget that regardless of how heavy it is, everyone, and i do mean everyone, has baggage.