Human Relationship

"Excuse Me": But For What and Why?

August 16, 2023


Time will come when we will no longer say: "Excuse me!". For this oft-repeated expression simply means imploring others understanding and forgiveness for the misdeeds you might have caused them. Instead, we will to learn the alternative of excusing others for what they might have done to us. For there must have circumstances, we don't know, that have caused them to commit some dastardly acts. This way we show our understanding and sympathy of what the others are doing. This way, we will never express our, disgust and anger with them, be it in our thoughts, feelings, or actions. In the same manner, we will no longer have to say "Sorry" again.

An Application of the "I-Thou" Relationships of Existentialist Martin Buber

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – June 10, 2021


I always make it a point to speak for myself, based on what I know and experience. For it would be presumptuous for me to speak in terms of “we” since I cannot courageously assume, without being labeled as cockeyed or insane, that what is true to me is also true to others.

My story is my own built-in "I account", done to inspire like-minded individuals to come together and propagate our collective voice to the public so we can be heard, recognized, counted, and made to participate in all societal endeavors.

Although it's a daily challenge to be nonjudgmental, I simply accept the stories of others as fact and given. Many times, though, I find nuggets of truths in their "I accounts" that resonate with my narrative.

From my experience, I realize that scrutinizing and giving value judgments on other's beliefs and opinions always bring in intense and heated processes of argumentation and debates, with each one trying to outdo the other.

This is a method that was drilled onto us by schools and universities. Compete and win. Winning is the game of life. Losing is a great failure and is something shameful and unforgivable. One has to work hard and extract its revenge against the other at any opportune time.

Being dogmatic, authoritarian, absolutist, imposing, and even the tendency to become offensive, ad hominem, and abrasive in the "I-Thou" relationship becomes an inevitable consequence, though not logically necessary in a friendly exchange of ideas.

Even then, I've learned that this is only destructive, demeaning, and dehumanizing both to me and to the other.

The challenge is to go outside of this crippling flow of "I-Thou" relationships immediately in order to preserve one's dignity and maintain respect and compassion for the other.

From moment to moment during the day, the relationship between two individuals can either be wholesome or unwholesome. Moreso if the interactions involve three or more parties.

There are so many ways, of course, how one's relationship with others can be transformed into one of arriving at a win-win situation.

And I always look forward to initiating union and communion in every process of communication, rather than skirting the ripe opportunity to test and broaden the influence of my Consciousness. The same opportunity might never come again.

Sadly, the etymology and meaning of the term "dialogue" have often been set aside in a society too focused on competition, an unconscious penchant for power, and a disguised "holier-than-thou" stance. The overall effect is that the "thou" becomes an "it", a thing, subject to be owned, possessed, and controlled. From humanization to de-humanization, the reverse of Teilhard de Chardin's cosmic evolutionary journey that leads to divinization. So many inhumanities now are committed even in the name of religion and God.