according to dick, the secret to getting along with others lies in accepting them just the way they are, and letting humor override conflict

relationships. life is so much about how we relate to one another and to our own thoughts.

life would be so easy, if we could just get along with everyone we encounter.  what makes each encounter a challenge? i know growing up, the challenge came from feeling controlled, that feeling of being criticized and judged all the time, the feeling that somehow i wasn’t good enough.

if i can give the other person the space to have his own opinions, his own thoughts, to be responsible for his own expectations and his own feelings, if i can let go of trying to make him see it my way, to allow him to have his own perspective, i feel i’m loving him without conditions, just the way he is.  if he can treat me the same, i feel free, accepted and loved.  i’m not tethered to anyone’s desire to change me to be what he wants me to be.

in talking to dick the other day, our 94 year old neighbor, he shared with me that the best thing he ever did was to ask dottie to marry him.  she wasn’t the beauty that the our media taught him to look for; she was the girl in fourth grade who was kind, sweet, loyal and good hearted.  they celebrated their 73rd anniversary the week before she passed. dick said, the key to a healthy marriage is a “good sense of humor, and not talking about politics.”  he was a die hard republican, and she a ‘passionate democrat’.  they never tried to get the other to change the way they saw the world, they accepted each other’s differences and in fact treasured each other’s perspective.


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