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“All is Fair in Love and War”… John Lyly’s Euphues
Have you come across this proverb either in a book or just as you were engaged in a discussion with others? This is a proverb that has remained very vital in the world today especially when it has to do with politics and governance. I would want to talk about what and how I got the muse to write about this proverb. As you must have observed, I usually write not out of my own will but when I get the muse either from what I hear or watch over the television and this translates into life lessons which is why I believe that whatever I write is and should be treated with utmost care. Having said that, I will start by telling you what prompted me to write this post. I was watching the morning newspaper review on one of the television channels and as the review was going on, one of the presenters in the cause of their discussion made use of the proverb as a means to explain what happens in the Nigerian political system.
I would not say that this is peculiar to Nigeria alone because just as I have stated at the beginning of this post, this is one proverb that comes in handy within the corridors of government and politics. This proverb was used by the presenter who was trying to clarify that the politician who has just defected to the ruling party after months and years of making derogatory remarks against the ruling party and the president, in particular, does not and may not be rendering any form of apology to the party and the president. Ok, for those who are not within the shores of Nigeria, yesterday was one of those days that can be described as “a day of surprise”.
We were surprised to hear that the one man who has always kicked against the president and his ruling party have cross carpeted to become a member of the political party he has been fighting against. This news was greeted with a whole lot of resentments from those who have been his ardent followers because no one believed that he would ever decamp to join the party he has openly condemned and tagged as a government on a mission to Fulanise Nigeria.
For me and some others who understand the game of politics especially when it is played within the shores of Nigeria, we were not taking unawares because what our politicians look out for is the money bag. So if the ruling party and the president control the money and who gets it, why won’t the same man who has condemned them publicly swallow his pride and lick his spittle? After all, politics is nothing but a game of strategy and numbers. Well, I am not here to just talk about Nigerian politics and their politicians because I believe that we have been hearing about it from every media outfit and especially from other users on this platform. I will want to look at the proverb as regards our life and existence as humans.
All is fair in love and war
Could this be the reason why even after we witness killings and destructions perpetrated by an individual during the time of war, we still see these enemies meeting together after the war as if nothing has happened? If we look at this proverb carefully we will understand that it carries more weight even more than one can think of. I will try to relate it to two things which are love and war.
Whenever there is a war between two or more countries in the world, the United Nations and other world regulating councils will step in to make sure that both warring countries don’t go against the stipulated human rights even as they go on with the war. Now, to apply this proverb, one can rightly say that anything that happens in terms of a war between two countries or people will be considered an issue of war during and after the war. What it means is that once the war ends, none of the parties will hold each other accountable for the damages which the war caused them and it also means that they can also come together as friends and allies in future.
In love, this seems to be a bit different because most times when a break-up happens, both parties begin to see each other as serious enemies. These are people who have promised and exchanged love amongst themselves when the feeling was sweet and smooth but the moment they separate, it becomes a different issue. My question is; why is it so? If countries and people will able to work together even after being in war for so long, why then does it seem impossible for lovers to remain as friends after breakups? This is the reason I decided to bring this up on this platform for us to discuss. Even though this may not be seen as a general thing, but I believe that it would be better for us to look at it individually.
For me, I have always preached against turning to enemies after breakups because it will surely come back to hunt either of the former lovers in the future. Having promised love to someone means that you should uphold that promise and most times we think that because the relationship did not work out therefore there is no love. A relationship can last for years and still not end in marriage because for a marriage to work there should be companionship, love and compatibility. Once any of this is missing then there won’t be any need to go into marriage and this does not mean that the love the partners share has died. The earlier we understand this principle the better for all of us and that is when we can comfortably say that “All is Fair in Love and War”.
Another angle I will like to look at is the angle of not keeping a grudge or record of the misdeeds of your partner as you find yourself in any relationship. Have you ever heard people complain about the sacrifices they may have sacrificed in their relationship while it lasted? People must not forget that anything they do or give in a relationship should not be seen as an investment that will bring profit or returns in future. This is one of the biggest mistakes of a lot of people. What you do or give at any time in a relationship should be done from the angle of love and appreciation for each other and nothing more. In that way, no one will be expectant of any favour in return because all is truly fair in love and war.