Thursday, 8 April 2010

There is no substitute for quality -- Part 2 of 2

PhotoFriday Challenge contribution to 'Best Friends' 
QUALITY for our purposes here is defined as the significance (worth); value; importance one places on something or someone: value of relationships.

‘Mankind has been designed to be relational and cannot exist successfully outside relationship. This is not an optional state of being but one that is in the very foundation of who we are...no man is an island or can exist unto himself alone.’

The best way to describe the human need for relationship is to say that relationship is to man as vitamin D from the sun is to skin…we need it! The real question is how we form relationships and the motives that are behind this process. If you enter into a relationship, for example a marriage because you seek security, self worth, the need to own another human being, happiness…you will measure that relationship based on whether or not you get these things. When you deem the relationship to be failing, what you are really saying is that these things that you entered into the relationship for are not being delivered, or at least not to the standard, timing, value to which you initially signed up to receive ( it is no wonder that so many marriages end in divorce!). “Your outlook with determine the quality of your relationships”

Many people I have spoken to say they pick friends based on mutual interests or complementary personality traits or because they find qualities in that person that will be in some way indirectly or directly beneficial to them. For example; forging a friendship with someone who is better in social settings than you are, gives you the advantage of exposure without having to necessarily risk putting yourself out there. This sums up the way in which many people view one another in relationships whether on a conscious or subconscious level. We are selective of whom we confide in, who we depend on, who we spend time with and ultimately who we share the moments of our lives with. We do this because as people we are inherently selfish therefore we approach relationships from the perspective of our needs and wants rather than what we have to offer. This is where the concept of a ‘self-centred’ universe comes into play… We view the world from our point of view and therefore we evaluate our relationships based on what we identify we receive from them (our expectations). No matter how nice we are as people, when it comes to our own person, self preservation determines that we perceive all things from the vantage point that is best for us. Does this make us bad? No I think it makes us human…where we become accountable, is when we recognise this about ourselves and continue…

The reality is that we do measure (judge) our relationships periodically and this is done on the basis of the perceived benefits or liabilities to our own person. Our unrealistic and often unreasonable needs and wants which we impose on those we are in relationships with in the form of expectations, are more often than not, the cause of these relationships ‘failing’. Surely this form of measure or gauge of a relationship (consciously or sub-consciously) is wholly inaccurate at best because it denotes that our ‘value system’ is based on selfish / self centred motivations.
Having this entirely introverted view or approach to our relationships leave them emotionally bankrupt from constant withdrawals. I dare say that a relationship is two people, if the quality of one relationship is lower than another, the wise thing to do indubitably, is to look for the constant in both relationships to find the route cause? Under the scrutiny of a magnifying glass, I am sure the constant you will find is YOU! So if you have ever wondered what makes you consider ‘Jack’ to be the go to guy and ‘Janet’ the unreliable flake, or ‘Suzie’ the agony aunt and ‘Paul’ the proverbial ‘Philistine’, I hope you have gained some insight here...

If we fail to see every person’s intrinsic value and we do not choose to esteem others above self, entering into relationships based on what we can give not what we can gain, surely we set up the relationship to fail? What it boils down to is love… and not the kind of love that comes from the same ‘self centred outlook’ that causes us to look at , ‘what are they’ doing’ to prove they love me? If we are to have genuine quality relationships, then our measure must be what do ‘I give’, ‘how do I support’, ‘how do I love’ the other person. This has to be a conscious decision based on the understanding that a relationship is only as successful as you are willing to leave ‘self’ out of it and pursue the best interests of the other person over yours. It begins with one simple step, make a conscious decision to put the same premium on all your relationships because they do not exist to satisfy you in some way but to gratify the other.

The best example I can think of is God Himself…the bible says that God is not a ‘respecter of persons’, what this means is that God does not value us based on what we give Him (or some of us would be in big trouble!) but He value’s us from the basis that He loves us, and loves us equally ‘without preference’. Imagine with me if you will, a world in which everyone’s concern was for another not self…surely we would ultimately achieve from relationships what we naturally seek in our selfish nature, because everyone around you is seeking to give you love you don’t deserve as you seek to give it to others…

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