It is often said that the basis of life is people and their relationship with others. Meaning, that our ability to relate effectively with others is the key to warm and rewarding relationship.
Let me share with you a touching story about forgiveness. To many of us, an unforgiving spirit is our stumbling block in interacting positively with other people. What I am sharing with you is the story of the late US Senator Hubert Humphrey who was a political adversary of the late President Richard Nixon who was a victim of criticism because of the Watergate case. As the story goes: “Three days before Senator Humphrey died, Jesse Jackson visited him in the hospital. Humphrey told Jackson that he had just called Nixon. The Reverend Jackson, knowing their past relationship, asked Humphrey why. Here is what Hubert Humphrey had to say: ‘From this vantage point, with the sun settling in my life, all of the speeches, the political conventions, the crowds, and the great fights are behind me. At a time like this you are forced to deal with your irreducible essence, forced to grapple with that which is really important. And what I have concluded about life is that when all is said and done, we must forgive each other, redeem each other, and move on.’ At Hubert Humphrey’s funeral, we see next to Hubert’s beloved wife was former President Richard Nixon, a long time political adversary of Humphrey and a man disgraced by Watergate. Humphrey himself had asked Nixon to have that place of honor at his funeral.”
There are only two ways of relating with people. Either we see them as our adversaries or we see them as our assets. Here is also what the Holy Bible says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Unfortunately, there are many of us who prefer to malign, slander, backbite, humiliate, or speak ill of others. Hurting others in the end. Like porcupines who boned together in a tight huddle to keep warm during cold nights. However, as the porcupines begin to snuggle really close, the sharp quills start to prick and stab the others forcing them to distance from one other. This is the so-called porcupine syndrome. Applied in our life, the porcupine syndrome is a barrier to quality human relationship.
Many times, I hear people say that there is a short but effective course in human relations that can help us develop qualities that will draw people to us. A very simple course that people will easily understand – as follows:
The least important word is I;
The most important word: WE;
The two most important words: Thank you;
The three most important words: All is forgiven;
The five most important words: You did a good job;
The six most important words: I want to know you better.
Finally, let me share again a grappling story that I read from a book by a Christian writer and speaker. It is still about human relationship. The story is about a Romanian soldier in World War II. His name was Ana Gheorghe.
“It was in 1941, and Russian troops had overrun the Romanian region of Bessarabia and entered Moldavia. Ana and his comrades were badly frightened. Bullets whizzed around them, and mortar shells shook the earth. By day, Ana sought relief reading his Bible, but at night he could only crouch close to the earth and recall verses memorized in childhood.
“One day during a spray of enemy fire, Ana was separated from his company. In a panic, he bolted deeper and deeper into the woods until, huddling at the base of a large tree, he feel asleep from exhaustion. The next day, trying to find his comrades, he moved cautiously toward the front, staying in the shadows of the trees, nibbling a crust of bread, drinking from streams.
Hearing the battle closing in, he unslung his rifle, pulled the bold, and watched for the enemy, his nerves near the breaking point. Twenty yards away, a Russian soldier suddenly appeared.
“Says Ana: ‘All mental rehearsals of bravery served me nothing. I dropped my gun and fell on my knees, then buried my face in the sweating.'”
Have a joyful day!
(For comments/reactions please send to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected])