Monday, April 12, 2004

Love & the Impedance Mismatch of Transmission Lines

Love & the Impedance Mismatch of Transmission Lines

When one is young, one has so much to prove--to one's family, to one's peers and to the world at large. Great amounts of energy are used to attain an academic qualification, to build a successful career and to start a family. And in going through all these experiences, one's character is built. Valuable lessons are learnt.

In a previous posting, I wrote how the ferocity of our youth can be compared to the flow of a river near its source--the flow of water as it rushes and dashes against rocks and all other obstacles in the way. We use up so much of our energy in our youth chasing things we think are important--the career, the car, the house and the life partner. And many of us still have more to spare: We release them in discotheques, in sports and for many, in acts of recklessness.

A healthy person would have achieve some measure of stability and equilibrium when all his or her energies are transformed into love and channelled into nurturing the wellbeing of a family and a career. We build beautiful families and contribute to society through our chosen vocations. If there's excess energy, it is diverted into creative works which become treasures of society and humanity. The circuit is closed: energy is released back into the universe. A beautiful ecosystem of love results.

The danger comes when the circuit is imperfect--when there's a disjoint somewhere in the chain. Electrical engineers would say, there's an impedance mismatch--signal reflection, attenuation and noise would result. Husbands and wives do not talk; children avoid their parents; people do not find fulfilment in their jobs anymore.

Energy that cannot flow within the ecosystem of love has to find an outlet somewhere. Anger, hurt and resentment would arise. We hurl ourselves into reckless relationships, with the hope of finding a resolution to all these negative energies. The ecosystem, the circuit of love becomes broken.

How do we avoid all that? Are all relationships plagued by "impedance mismatch"? Not necessarily so. Two transmission lines face impedance mismatch because they cannot self-tune themselves. They cannot readjust their own impedances to minimize noise and attenuation.

But we can. Both sides can attempt to readjust their own behaviour to bring impedance mismatch to a minimum. Therein lies the key to a successful relationship.

Unfortunately this is easier said than done. It only works well when this self-tuning occurs on both sides. In reality, we often behave as stubbornly as those dumb transmission lines. We'd rather reconnect ourselves elsewhere than to attempt to correct our existing circuits.

We are blessed with the ability to adapt and self-correct. Perhaps that's the greatest gift that we human beings possess. I think we can--and we should--do a lot better than cold hard pieces of copper wires.

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