A Little Relationship Talk …


Love To All

This is one of those deceptive quotations … simply phrased and blindingly positive.  Let’s unpack this a bit …

LOVE TO ONE …

This sounds fine, and is very supportive of the generally held concept that you unite with one love, forsaking all others … even as we prove that this is much more often upheld as an ideal, rather than as a reachable goal.

Then you realize that this part restricts you to one love.     I look at my wife, children, and grandchildren, to say nothing of other family members and close friends … and I wonder “Which one of these do I choose?

FRIEND TO MANY …

This one seems OK, since it both removes the restriction of choosing just one person to share affection and connection with.

Of course, those whose preference is for fewer, deeper relationships may argue that those are more valuable to our well-being than having a large number of shallow relationships.

Quantity should not trump quality …

For examples, see any social media platform, where the number of connections, links, followers, friends, and so on, are counted and publicized.  You will see some folks taking the “Many” idea to a useless extreme.

GOODWILL TO ALL …

This is what some of us call an “Absolute” statement … “All” means everyone. So far, so good.

Easy enough to do when you are only thinking of those to whom you are related or have some common bond, such as religion, ethnicity, geography, values, beliefs, or so on.

Harder to do when you think in terms of extending goodwill to those who vehemently and maybe even violently oppose that which you cherish.

So maybe my thoughts have gently spoiled your enjoyment of this nicely phrased, lofty-sounding, but ultimately questionable guide.  Please note that I did not ever promise that critically evaluating things would be easy, pleasant, or fun.  I will promise you that your decisions and actions will be more positive and value-filled if you engage in critical thinking practices.

To make you feel better, I put this quotation in a nicely designed form suitable for printing, framing, and displaying … fell free to share, even though you may no longer wish to do so:)

Just thinking out loud, while the intellectual, emotional, and ideological conflicts swirl around me in the Heartland …

John

Inspiration:  PsyBlog post about quotations

Image:  Morguefile.com

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