In this week’s spotlight I want to pause for a moment and reflect on the importance of relationships. In a recent newsletter Ravinder reminded me of something I wrote many years ago as a result of a dream. The next morning I wrote the dream down and ultimately it became The Little Black Book, something we sell for a mighty $2.00 just to get the message out. The bottom line, something I have referred to as the three Rs—and not for reading, writing and arithmetic. No—my three Rs can be said this way, “Reality is Relative to Relationships!”
Think about it this way, when we leave this corporal life, we will not take our trophies, diplomas, possessions, and so forth. What we will take is our experiences and especially those with other beings. In other words, our relationships are the one thing that will survive, assuming we survive at all—and I do!
I remember watching Tom Hanks, as Chuck the Federal Express driver, struggle over the loss of his soccer ball in the film, Cast Away. Stranded on an island, no companionship, no one to talk to, not another human being to even watch, authentically portrayed what life alone could be like. The screenwriter, “William Broyles Jr., spent several days alone in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez trying to fend for himself. He speared and ate stingrays, learned how to open a coconut, befriended a washed-up Wilson-brand volleyball, and tried to make fire, which ended up in the movie. His experiences led to an epiphany regarding the Chuck character: ‘That’s when I realized it wasn’t just a physical challenge,’ Broyles told The Austin Chronicle in 2000, ‘It was going to be an emotional, spiritual one as well.’”
Just try to imagine your life without another human being. What would your world be like? What would you desire most in your life? Just asking yourself a few questions of this nature quickly leads to the appreciation we have for others.
Life is full of challenges and often these challenges come down to other people. Difficult people with antagonistic ideas are not difficult to find in today’s world. Sometimes they are our relatives, our neighbors, someone in the workplace, or in our schools; and sometimes they are relatively unknown characters that we friend in social media platforms or watch in some television broadcast—but wherever we find them there doesn’t seem to be shortage nowadays.
Or could it be—just maybe, that we have lost sight of how important others are. I read a definition of humility last week that impressed me. In the words of Rick Warren, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” That reminded me of something said by James Faust, “A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and wellbeing.”
I would encourage you to think back to that great film, Cast Away, and how grateful Chuck was to have other people. Think about my three Rs—and then set your own intention for positive interactions with all. Add the gratitude for others into your life with the humility that comes from recognizing that it is only your relationships that will leave this earth plane when you do, and only your relationships that will therefore define your success in this life.
A gentle forgiving heart with a mindful sense of humility will reward you not just in the here and now, but on the other side as well. The peace, balance, and harmony we all seek in this world begins with a single act, a single person, a single intention to be what we want the world to be.
My thoughts, what are yours?