‘we’ll build a little nest somewhere a way out west… and let the rest of the world..?’
I listened to a disgruntled citizen the other day as he complained about environmentalists and the trouble they cause. He said something like this: ‘all these *$#!@# regulations stifle economic growth” – as if economic growth were a religion to him and regulations protecting the environment the only thing that stood in the way of his personal prosperity.
What has this conversation to do with marriage?
More than you think. An ancient observation goes like this: “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”
I asked him if he enjoyed the thought of his children’s safety as they travelled on freeways. “Of course I do,” he said. “Regulations (and laws) make that possible,” I offered.
Many people do not want to do the homework they need to do to make their marriages thrive. Any complex situation – the environment, political systems, marriage, a company start up – demands our full attentiveness. We look at ‘what’s needed,’ what the underlying paradigm that is informing this creation is, what are the essential challenges, what possibly can go wrong and so on.
Marriage requires certain competencies
You have to be able to communicate, you must learn to be comfortable with conflict, you’ll have to reach deep inside to discover your own vision for marriage and you’ll have to develop considerable humility as you listen non judgmentally to the vision of your partner. Marriage is like a garden – we all need to tend it if it is to thrive.
These competencies – embrace of conflict; clear effective communication; emotional intelligence; shared vision; and the development of the capacity for curiosity (to counter our shared addiction to diagnosis, analysis, theorizing and judging) – these will be the focus of our next several blogs.
And the environment? Take a moment to be thankful for the brave souls who stand in for us, who stand up for continually addressing the needs of our often voiceless planet.
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