The Art of Relationship

24 Oct

The spice of life … the spice of almost every relationship … can be found in differences.  When I think about my relationship with my wife, which has been growing since I met her over 32 years ago, there are two main components that make it work:  We DO have many interests in common, and we have MANY differences.  There are things she loves for which I do not care, and vice versa.  She has abilities that I do not have, and vice versa.  It is funny how these difference make as much of an impact on our ability to survive as the similarities make.  She makes me better in ways I could never achieve.  (And HOPEFULLY vice-versa)

The same is probably true in most of my friendships.  We are all naturally attracted to friends with whom we share common ground, but there are always differences that glue the friendship together.  And, in my life, I’ve always been taught to respect the differences.  In other words, it’s okay if we disagree.  We do not have to be identical for our friendship to work.  That is at the heart of the ART!!  The art of Relationship!

And, this is an art that is quickly dying.  I see it all over social media about a variety of topics.  Politics.  Religion.  Sports.  Social media seems to provide a pseudo-anonymity that allows an individual to say things they perhaps wouldn’t say in person.  To do things they might not normally do.  As more and more of us migrate our social interactions to this venue, we are losing a vital ability in this Art of Relationship.  And this trend could be irreversible if we are not careful.

Just take the Presidential election:  Reds HATE the Blues.  Blues HATE the Reds.  And both HATE the third and fourth parties.  I remember a day when I could disagree with my neighbor or brother or friend and still love them.  Still be civil towards them.  But that day is quickly passing.  It makes me wonder what the aftermath of this election will be, no matter who wins.   In fact, if this trend continues, it won’t matter who wins because we (the “United” States) will lose miserably.  Our only hope is to find a way to pull out of this nose-dive.

We are NOT totally beyond redemption.  We can make a difference RIGHT NOW.  BE THE CHANGE.  YOU… YOU BE THE CHANGE.  I WILL BE THE CHANGE.  We can make a difference.  This is not the first time in the history of civilization this has happened.  As my good friend Lee Freeman reminded me last night, Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is “nothing new under the sun.”  This is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last.  But it needs to stop now.

And YOU could make all of the difference in the world.

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