An old lady was in a queue in a post office to buy stamps. An young man standing beside and asked her “why do you wait here?...you go to that machine and get the stamps. The machine is meant for the elderly and disabled”. She replied, “No; I am comfortable here. The machine will not enquire about me and my sickness. But the Post master does… I am an arthritis patient”. She is waiting for the enquiry of the postmaster.
People around us are craving for relationships. Howard Clinebell, a Pastoral counselor once said, “…Most peoples’ lives are characterized by plethora of contacts and poverty of relationships”. Mother Theresa said, “the greatest disease of our time is neither leprosy nor cancer but loneliness and alienation… people are forgotten to smile and love…”
Our community is consolidated around interactive monitors rather than interpersonal relationships. With advent of mobiles or face book it has become easier for us to contact people miles away from us. However people keep in touch but hardly keep touching. People engage in communicating each other. Yet we find it difficult to enter in to the frame of reference of the other. We are often judgmental in relating with each other. Each one is unique and different. In the context of family relationships, Virginia Satir, a family therapist said, “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible---.” We are different – different in perception, ideology, beliefs, culture or language. Difference in us is to be regarded as a quality not a threat. It is a sign of growth. It is God’s design and a gift.
Let us be aware of all the barriers that stand in the way of sustaining and restoring our relationships. May the God Almighty enable us to enter in to the frame of reference of others and experience oneness and growth in our relationships.
Rev. Dr. Jacob Cherian