Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Sustainable relationship

Of late it appears that the intensity, intimacy and depth of bonding among relations are gradually dwindling resulting in crumbling social fabric and waning inter-personal relations. Today there is lack of care and concern for each other and diminishing love and affection in relations is fast turning into a stark reality of our contemporary world. It is a sad thing that unhealthy competition, one-upmanship and ego-clashes are now ruling the roost. We know that sharing and caring, mutual respect, longing and love, coherence and compassion are the hallmarks of human relations but which seems to be fast disappearing now into thin air from the realms of our social framework. One of the major reasons for fractured relationships could also be attributed to unreasonable expectations and unduly judgmental behaviour. There is a saying that even prophets are not valued by their own people. And probably this saying aptly reflects the main cause of discontent among relations in our society. Somehow we tend to ignore, undermine and belittle at times, the achievements, capabilities and calibre of our kith and kin. Now this sows the seeds of disillusionment and distancing among relations. We often ignore and fail to acknowledge and applaud the feats and accolades won by our friends and relatives, thus purposely or unintentionally sending a wrong signal of our apathy and indifference to them. This gets subsequently paid back to us in the same coin at our own turn and the vicious cycle continues. With the passage of time grouse and regret keep piling and relations continue to progressively get strained. We fail to realize that after all it costs nothing to expend a few words of admiration with a simple intent to enhance the spirit of camaraderie and companionship. Instead we choose to hold on to our big fat ego and thereby antagonize our relations. Sir Walter Scott in his popular book ‘Guy Mannering’ stated that “blood is thicker than water” implying that family relationships and loyalties lay the strongest foundations of one’s life. We are aware of the saying relations like molten gold come out purer after passing through fire. Relations may temporarily become sour but they do not perish. At the end of the day they flourish and stand every test of time. We need to understand the simple fact that life is too short to nurture hatred, jealousy and malice in our hearts. Life could be a lot more enjoyable in the loving company of our well-wishers, friends and relatives. We need not reciprocate indifference and apathy with the like since an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. No matter how low someone stoops we can still maintain our own dignity, and decency in life. Instead of resorting to vengeance if we reciprocate rudeness with courtesy and kindness, apathy with care and graciousness, selfishness with generosity, insensitivity with thoughtfulness and so on, perhaps our life would be lot more better. We can embed ourselves into a strong and rich social fabric by following the basic principle of solidarity through mutual acceptance. It has been said that non-acceptance of uncertainty leads to fear, and its acceptance leads to adventure. Similarly non-acceptance of good in others leads to envy, and its acceptance leads to inspiration. Brooks had argued that “separability amid situatedness requires a covenant rather than a contract among people”. He goes on to differentiate the two as, “People in a contract provide one another services, but people in a covenant delight in offering gifts.” Indeed it is advisable to sustain relations without expecting undue favours from them. The point is people need to embrace tolerance and acceptance and shun fault-finding and rejection for a lasting, amicable relationship and thereby leave a rich legacy behind for our posterity. We need to give people their freedom to think, plan and decide for themselves within the supportive framework of a loving and caring community. Being judgmental about others sows seeds of discord and hostility in relations. One should neither look down upon others nor think too high or expect too much from them. Accepting people as they are with all their flaws, shortcomings, limitations as well as powers and strengths is the key to a sustainable relationship.