Life’s greatest joys and its greatest sorrows often come from the relationships we have developed with others. In fact, our existence is quite dependent upon this interaction with other individuals and groups of individuals.
In our world today, it seems that most people strive for happiness through pleasant physical surroundings and economic security. These are great, but if there is discord in human relations, these things do not bring happiness. Think about the last time you were having an argument or a disagreement with one of your co-workers, your boss, your friend, or a family member. Was it easy or difficult to focus on your priorities? Even though you might have been having some success in many areas of your life, did you find yourself still feeling some discomfort due to the stress in that particular relationship? Conversely, you may know people who are happy in abject poverty and/ or with physical stress if they have meaningful, pleasant relations with those around them.
If this is true, and certainly all of the evidence of human experience says it is, then should we not cultivate the best possible feelings for those within our circle of influence first and then focus on physical goals and results?
Consider the most relationship that you have ever had with any individual. To some degree it probably is or was marked by absolute honesty, deep levels of trust, respect for that person’s skills, knowledge, or capabilities, open communication, acceptance of differing views without acrimony, and little concern for pretenses and images. Also recognition for each others contributions and certainly a willingness to help one another in any occasion.
In effort to make the relationships we currently have the best that they can be, remember that persuasion usually cannot take place unless there is some sort of close, meaningful connection between the two people involved. The result will be a relationship of respect and progression.
Despite the injunctions, many of us have difficulty in accepting the faults and weaknesses of others; co-workers, work leaders, family members, or members of our social or religious groups. Our tendency to demand perfection of others can cause us to lose sight that we, ourselves, are less than perfect. This creates static in relationships. Undoubtedly, there are differences among us. Some of us are even abrasive and unpleasant. Others may have cultural differences that are stumbling blocks that affect us. But learning to look for the similarities instead of those things that set us apart, embracing differences, and seeing the best in others rather than the worst will lead to relationships of deep respect and lasting value.