Chuang Tzu said: If a man steps on a stranger’s foot in the marketplace, he makes a polite apology and offers an explanation: “This place is so crowded”.Apology is needed because there is no relationship, the other is a stranger. Explanation is needed because there is no love. If there is love then there is no need for an explanation, the other will understand. If there is love, there is no need for apology, the other will understand – love always understands.So, there is no higher morality than love, there cannot be. Love is the highest law, but if it is not there, then substitutes are needed. In the west, a husband will offer an apology, a wife will offer an explanation. It means that love has disappeared. It means that everybody has become a stranger, that there is no home, that every place has become a marketplace. In the east, it is impossible to conceive of this, but westerners think that easterners are rude. A spouse will never give an explanation – no need, because we are not strangers and the other can understand. When the other cannot understand, only then apology is needed.And if love cannot understand, what good is apology going to do? If the world becomes a home, all apologies and explanations will disappear. You give explanations because you are not certain about the other. Explanation is a trick to avoid conflict, apology is a device to avoid conflict. But the conflict is there, and you are afraid of it.This is a civilised way to get out of the conflict. You have stepped on a stranger’s foot, you look – violence is in his eyes – he has become aggressive, he will hit you. Apology is needed, his anger will subside with an apology. You need not be authentic in your apology, it is just a social device, it works as a lubricant. Then you give an explanation just to say, “I am not responsible, the place is so crowded, it is a marketplace, nothing can be done, it had to happen.” Explanation says that you are not responsible. Love is always responsible, whether the place is crowded or not, because love is always aware and alert. You cannot shift the responsibility to the situation, you are responsible.By Osho
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