For most part success here still translates to tremendous financial security, freedom to accommodate impulse behavior (travel, trinkets, entertainment, house, cars, .... you know the list) and the ability to get to a point in life where most of the rules that apply to the common man are not applicable to you. ("common man" is my pc version of the "average man") While there is an active movement trying to redefine "success"(Saturn commercial). The popular version still trends towards enabling a life style of excess and immediate gratification"
One of the unspoken consequences of this has been the demotion of relationships in the priority list of a working adult. Relationships are assumed to be "easy". If they cannot be sustained just on the time left after pursuing life's other goals, then there is something wrong with the other person in the relationship. Please realize that I am close to and continue to meet a lot of individuals who do get it "right" (IMHO) but they are counter-cultural. They did not get there without intentional hard work and sacrifices. They have to do a thorough review and refactoring of their convictions before they can be counter cultural. This is hard work and takes sacrifice, both of which are not attitudes we want to associate with relationships.
People assume one has to be unselfish and put the other persons needs ahead of yours to make relationships work. Guess what-- YOU DO! but the mistake is in thinking that you have to be born unselfish. Errr sorry mate :-). NOBODY is born unselfish. You become unselfish in your character by continually working on your relationships. It is a constant side effect and not a necessary starting ingredient.
Interestingly from a cost-benefit analysis, nothing repays your hard word like a strong, healthy and loving relationship. (Incidentally there are no guarantees but that is where your personal "faith" comes in) I am confident of this assertion because like successful platform plays (M$, _maybe facebook_, the internet). Relationship is a platform strategy for the rest of your life. Your success or failure in your distinct life endeavors say job, raising kids or changing the society is highly tied to the strength of your relationships.
What got me thinking about all this are the events of this week.
- My wife is currently in Poland on a work related trip. This is hard for me. I do not like not having her in my house, city, state, country and time zone :-) (have i made my point clear). But we both realize that travel is a part of our adult responsibilities and it is essential that we support each other. What is cool to me from this trip is that we unconsciously switched to frequent emails and sms 's in addition to phone calls. This has had a really good effect on me (i hope for her too). Being able to stay in touch albeit with rapid messages has helped me continue to keep her in my thoughts without a break. I am still very much excited about her coming back this weekend but I am handling the separation a lot better in addition to feeling loved by her and loving her even though we are seven hours apart.
- My grandma passed away yesterday. She was 85. She had a hard life and we are glad the end was quick and peaceful. She was a surrogate mom to me during the first 15 or so years of my life (my mom busted her butt working for us along with my dad - thanks mom and dad). I miss my grandma but probably too personal for me to blog about. What is interesting to me though is that i started to keep my dad in the loop on my life via my blog over the past 6-8 months. This again has helped me tell him and my mom that they are in my thoughts and let them know how much i love them. The net effect is that when my grandma passed away, I was able to have a healthy and good conversation with my dad (she was his mom). We live 12hrs apart and I moved away from my home/country over a decade ago. So getting to this point is not a coincidence. It took hard work and sacrifice.
Good luck with your relationships :-) Let me know if you want to bounce thoughts with me.