Reversing ‘knowing me, knowing you’

Posted by watchmen
July 13, 2022
Posted in OPINION

That Abba song, “Knowing me, knowing you,” while having a very nice tune typical of their brand of music, actually has a very sad message because it is about a break-up of two lovers. It highlights what they consider to be the irreconcilable differences between the two.

“Knowing me, knowing you,” it says, “there is nothing we can do. / Knowing me, knowing you / We just have to face it / This time we’re through….” These lyrics can only tell us that the two cannot be together definitively.

The root of the problem is, of course, because one of them makes as the basis of their relationship his or her own self-knowledge, of how he or she is at the moment, which definitely will always have differences with the other party in spite of the things they share in common. And if one insists on how he or she is, then sooner or later the differences will overwhelm what they have in common. That relationship is doomed.

What should rather happen is that instead of starting with oneself, we have to start knowing the other, the object of our love, and from there try to make the necessary adaptations for the relationship to hold. In other words, it should be “Knowing you, knowing me.”

That way, one gives priority to the object of his love and adjusts himself to the way the other party is. That is what loving is. The lover identifies with the beloved and adjusts himself to the beloved, not the other way around, and that relationship would last.

But obviously, since all of us have our defects and weaknesses, knowing the object of our love would not be enough for us to relate to him or her properly. If we simply base our loving on the way the other party is, then sooner or later the couple will share the same defects and weaknesses, even as they also share some good qualities. The likelihood of a break-up would be high.

The ideal condition to have is first to know and love God so that we may know and love ourselves and others properly. Thus, instead of “Knowing me, knowing you,” it should rather be “Knowing you (God), knowing me.”

This was what St. Augustine precisely said. “Noverim te, noverim me,” Latin for “May I know God, may I know myself,” St. Augustine said. It is when we know and love God first that we can know who we really are and ought to be. God is our Creator and Father in whose image and likeness we have been made. How he is, who is pure love in essence, is also how we ought to be.

It is God who will tell us what is true and false, right and wrong, moral and immoral. It’s not us who define and determine these things. And if we know God first, then we would know how to relate ourselves with the others, how to love them properly the way God loves us, as shown, taught and commanded to us by Christ himself.

Thus, if we really want to truly fall and remain in love with our beloved, if we want our relationships to last long until forever, then we have base it on our knowledge and love of God first. There can be no other way to assure us that our relationships here on earth would last!/WDJ

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