Zero sum

From Awareness: Conversations with the Masters by Anthony de Mello, SJ

“Would you want me to love you at the cost of my happiness?” “Yes,” she answered. Isn’t that delightful? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? She would love me at the cost of her happiness and I would love her at the cost of my happiness, and so you’ve got two unhappy people, but long live love!”

I was trying to think why this didn’t resonate with me. After a few minutes, I realized that it was because it positions the choice as zero sum, and I hate zero sum frameworks of decision making because it’s lazy and not representative of the real world.

This applies to relationships, to personal wellbeing, to even capitalism (also why I detest companies that want to “crush the competition”).