Hope for Relationships


It’s all about relationships. I have the wonderful chance to teach a class at the Center for spiritual Living in Maryland Heights, Mo. We only had two students today. There was enough repartee to construct a good conversation between a six year old and a twelve year old.

I came in armed to the eyeballs with sparkling ideas, or so I thought. It became clear that I had to take my brilliant insights and put them all in the trash can. I erased the eight words on the board and substituted them with respect, communication, and peace. This came from observing the interactions between Marcus and Josie, who communicate freely and easily.

Relationships is such an overused word. It remains at the core of happiness and satisfaction. So how can we embellish relationships through the use of core concepts?

Let’s take a look at the word respect. I asked them how we can show respect to others. Listen to their answers. I did not tell them the proper responses. They came up with their own ideas. Alright, I had an idea or two. Basically, I asked the questions and they provided the responses

  1. First: We respect others by listening to them. As the whole nation knows, Saint Louis has been plagued with friction between protestors and the police. What if we took the time to listen to the concerns of others? Much of this strife could be mitigated.2.
  2. Second: We respect others by granting them their space. I happened to sit a bit too close to Josie who backed away and looked to her brother for safety. I firmly believe in granting children their space. I backed off and apologized to her.
  3. Third:  We give respect  by acknowledging their point of view even if we disagree.

How about communication?

  1. First: We talked about using the word “I” instead of “you” when confronting someone. Then we did some role playing. “I want you to do the dishes is much better than “You are lazy. You never do the dishes
  2. Second: We talked about making requests and confrontations short and to the point.
  3. Third:  we did more role playing

Where does peace fit into the picture?

1. First: If we practice respectful behavior, we will have peace.

2. Second: If we develop good communication skills, we will have peace.

3. Third: Finally, it’s all about relationships

When all was said and done, we went into the church and led the congregation in singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”

It’s all about relationships.


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