Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Magnum Opus of Relationship Skills

When one boils down life to its core, one finds it is both defined and described by relationships. It makes little difference if one leads millions as Prime Minister or President or if one leads a few like parents or principals, relationships are the DNA of one's in life. With the world open to you via the Internet, it is possible to see both good skill sets and bad skill sets at work as people try to get along with others. Though relating to friends is like putting on an old pair of comfortable jeans, it is much more difficult to learn to get along with people who are not personal friends. Whether they be subordinates in a work setting, or peers in a cultural and competitive environment, or new acquaintances met during normal routines of life, the people with whom we will relate well are those who experience from us excellent relationship skills.

I've put together a relationship principle that is based on an old French proverb. I've added an entire second phrase to the principle, tweaked it through changing a few words, and then brought it over into our English language. I believe this relationship principle is the magnum opus of relating well, and that it is supported by a host of Scriptures, particularly the Proverbs and the words of Christ. The principle takes about ten minutes to memorize, but a lifetime to apply. It goes like this:
You steady another soul through your kindness,
 and you sway that same soul through your calm.

I believe every marriage, every business, every non-profit, every family, every organization, and every living organism that strive to build healthy relationships will profit from learning and applying this principle daily. Try it next time you are at an airport counter among a group of angry passengers. Put it into practice in a long line at the restaurant. Think about it the next time someone is shouting at you. Remember it when your spouse is hurt and angry. We don't speak King James language anymore (i.e. "heaping coals of fire"), but the principles of God's word still apply -- particularly when understood in modern language.  Put this principle in your relationship tool box and you might find your road in life much smoother and more enjoyable.


Rex Ray said...


Very good. I believe “comfort’ should be in there somewhere.

Old friends are like old shoes…they’re easy on your feet.

Rex Ray said...

This congressman hit the nail on the head.

Victorious said...

Speaking of putting it to practice in a long line....

Years ago when time was precious and there seemed to be little of it designated for relaxation, I was waiting in a long line at the grocery store. I was really enjoying the wait...just using it to relax. I got so relaxed that my car keys dropped out of my hand onto the floor. I was a bit embarrassed as I bent over to pick them up, but the lady behind me looked at me with amazement and said she wished she could learn that level of relaxation in stressful situations. lol!

Coming from a family of 11, I learned to relax, be patient, and even fall asleep anywhere at any time. No sense of entitlement in our family.

Thanks for the reminder that we can and do have an effect on those around us whether we are aware of it or not.

Rex Ray said...


“A family of 11”?
Did you fall asleep waiting in line at the bathroom? :)
Bob Hope said that’s where he learned to dance.

I know you weren’t the woman behind me at a grocery store in Israel because she had speed when her cart hit me. I gave her a ‘good looking’, but when it happened again, I went the rest of the way facing her.

Victorious said...

Did you fall asleep waiting in line at the bathroom?

No, but we learned early to announce when we were heading that way. 6 girls who used the bathroom to "primp," felt we were doing our brothers a favor by letting them know that it would be unavailable for quite awhile.

When I got married, one day my husband asked me why I felt the need to announce it every time I was going to use the bathroom.... lol! Habits are hard to break!

I know what you mean about carts in the grocery store. I find that seniors seem to think they're the only ones there to shop. I can say that since I'm a senior. :) One time a lady bumped into me while standing in line and I told her she was in my space (sorry Wade) and she ranted and raved so loud I knew I'd handled that wrong. (But I hadn't read this post yet...)

Pege' said...

WADE, WONDERFUL!!!! I I did not have this "proverb" but I have been praying to live this way. the Lord is changing me and I am so blessed to see the fruit. It s a great way to LIVE!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this message Wade. My day goes a lot better when I am a courteous driver, a loving wife, and a supportive friend.

Hillbilly Views said...

Many years ago I heard a man speak, In his talk he shared something that I have thought about over the years:

The power in the spoke word, It can life up or it can tare down. How do you use your words? Was the question he ask. He then went on to tell a modern day version of the coat of many colors.

A young girl’s mother had worked for a year to make her daughter a coat. It was made from small pieces of cloth so had been saving, she told her the stories of the pieces of cloth that made her beautiful coat. She was so excited the next day when she went to school she could not wait to show her coat, and tell the stories her mother had told her.

To her surprise the other kids sat and laughed at her, and older girl saw her walked up and took her hand and told her how lucky she was to have a coat that was made with so much love. They sat together and the older girl told her that her mother made her a coat that was just a pretty as the one she had. She told her that a month after her mother had given it to her mother had gone to be with God.

The words from that one girl changed her tears to joy. This was the power of one young voice.

Thanks Wade for bringing back a lost memory.