On a vacation in Costa Rica many years ago, my wife and I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast that was nestled in nature, with a view of the volcanic peaks in the distance. The sound of birds chirping in the early mornings was amazing. Almost deafening!
The B&B was run by a husband and wife couple, with the husband taking the lead in running the place. I sensed quite quickly that there was some discord between them. They seemed to be taking a passive aggressive stance towards each other and perhaps there was something festering in the marriage that needed to be addressed. I could not help think the obvious – that even such a idyllic setting in nature did not preclude conflict in relationship.
Another time, in Bali, our hiking guide was showing us around his house, which was on the hiking path. Nestled among rice terraces, the house was the cutest little thing in paradise. Absolutely amazing. However, he had divorced his first wife after a decade of being together. It was hard for me to imagine a couple fighting with each other in that cute little cottage!
These are small pointers to universality of human conflict. No matter where we go or the affluent or not-so-affluent circumstances we live in, we come face to face with the fact of human relationship. External conditions might help, but understanding our relationships is primarily an inner endeavor. As Ram Dass says, “wherever you go, there you are”. It’s very true, but a hard pill to swallow.