2007-11-14 / Opinion

•••Back to basics•••

submitted by cangrow

One man said of his marriage, "I very distinctly remember my wedding day. As we unloaded the moving van into our little house, I said, 'Darling, this is yours and my little world.'"

"And I suppose," wondered his friend, "that you've lived happily ever after?"

"We've been fighting for the world's championship ever since," he said.

That must have been the same couple who seemed to always be in conflictbut had a habit of calling a truce at bedtime. Every evening they knelt together and asked for strength to fight one more round.

They often wondered why they remained together. One night, while kneeling, she said to him, "Why don't we just ask God to strike one of us dead tonight, then this marriage would have peace at last? I could go live with my sister."

All relationships experience conflict,marriages, friendships, parents and children. But too many unfortunate souls, like this couple, seem to be unable to resolve their differences. Their relationship dries up, becomes brittle and breaks apart like a old and valuable photograph left in the hot sun. A union that once seemed a work of art eventually resembles a discolored and crumbling canvass. Finding and restoring those pieces to anything attractive can be a near-impossible task.

And the amazing realization is this: the incidents that finally destroy a relationship are usually small and insignificant! Momentous decisions and huge obstacles generally don't pull people apart. Most people in committed relationships can stand united when disaster strikes. It is the little problems, the insignificant stressors, that do the most damage when allowed to fester.

Do you know what issue causes the greatest number of conflicts in households? According to a "USA Today" report, people argue most often about which TV show to watch! Would any couple or family have believed that the selection of television programs would become the major cause of their unhappiness?

They forgot what is important! They forgot that relationships are built on such things as love, respect, consideration, kindness, and understanding. They forgot all those compelling and wonderful reasons that brought them together in the first place. Instead, they let minor inconveniences become major issues. In short, they forgot the basics. And they are paying a high price for their forgetfulness.

For healthy and satisfying relationships, it's vital to remember the basics:

Remember that the people of your life are more valuable than the things. That is basic.

Remember that there's a difference between inconveniences and hardships. That is basic.

Remember that the "little things," if left unattended, can hurt a relationship as much as the big ones. That, too, is basic.

And remember that love between individuals -- friends or family -- is the most precious possession we humans can hope to attain. Above all, other people should be cherished.

It's basic -- all of it. But it's the stuff of happy lives.

Steve Goodier

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