Posts Tagged ‘how to get along’

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

Psalm 133:1

Good stuff, unity, but several times in life I have had a front row seat to how painful and unpleasant it is when God’s people live together in  disunity.

I have watched long-standing and loyal friendship fray, unravel and fall in pieces to the floor in a matter of a few weeks.

It happens. I’ve seen it in several forms. It happens all the time. High-minded, principled, moral people in government, church and business settings shred each other.  It’s probably happened to you. If not, get closely involved with good people. Be patient. Be honest. It will come.

What causes what’s good to get so bad, so fast?

The answers are simple, present for anyone who wants to see them.  We humans, even we so called good ones, we mature one, we are very fragile in ego and self-image, and when we perceive that someone is taking from us something that we want, when we feel that we are losing control of our property or earned status or long-fought for identity or social place, we get crazy inside — fast.

And crazy inside  goes crazy outside to try to get things back to our way. In a panic to be recognized, hyper-anxious to be valued, obsessed with preserving some gain, we say or write stuff that harms others.  Crazy to appear successful, crazy to be known, crazy to be on top blows up families and friendship and organization right and left. 

I watched Jobs last week, the story of Steve Jobs and Apple computer’s rise to success. There it is. What’s mine is mine, what I made is mine, and if you try to take it away from me you’ll pay for it. Jobs pretty much had the mindset that his success, Apple’s success was more important than his precious relationships.

This is true of many of us, although not all. Many of us carry a bit of  Steve Job’s selfishness inside, me too.  We want what we want and when we don’t get what we want we are tempted to sacrifice dear relationship in order to get what we want.

But, back to the Psalm.  When we do dwell in unity, man how good that is! It is peaceful, safe, good, the best! And it shines even brighter after we’ve seen how bad it is when we choose to  reside in darker and more harmful places.

The solutions? Again, they are simple, like the problem. Practice humility. Choose to love. Be willing to listen. Be open to solutions that both sides can live with. Promote unity. Have the wisdom to realize that our most precious relationships are far more valuable than our public successes.

Lately, my wife has been a good example of unifying love. She has loved me unselfishly and tirelessly.

Ah, how good and pleasant it is to dwell with her.

We, who are as good as you, swear to you, who are not better than us, to accept you as our king and soverign lord, provided you observe all our liberites and laws — but if not, not.”

This was the oath of allegiance sworn by Catalans and Aragonese to the Spanish monarch in Madrid in the 15th Century.

I love it!

It’s in-your-face; it’s respectful.

It’s got commitment in it; it’s got a brash sense of liberty hanging around it; it has boundaries.

This oath respects that we take on different roles, but that those roles don’t make anyone better than any one else. That’s right.

Mutual respect, mutual value and mutual good are at the core of all good relationships. For love to exist, both sides must honor and value the other.

This fits us; it squares with democracy; it squares with our modern marriages; it squares up nicely with modern society.

Men and women must equally honor each other. Races must value other races. Rich and poor — mutual respect. Parents should respect their children, the children respect the parents.

Differing faiths are fine to differ, but they must not hate and attack each other. Political parties exist to put forward contrasting opinions, but hate, disrespect and personal attacks will ruin both. Having differing ideas doesn’t necessarily  make either side evil, it just makes them different.

The best relating is a confident, everything-on-the-table negotiation. It is dialogue, with respectful boundaries — well put.

If yes, yes; if not, not.

We make a pact to honor.

Let’s not let it get to not.