Thursday, 11 August 2016

Thought Picnic: The need to cultivate relationships

Debunking the myths
A cousin once protested, “Blood is thicker than water.” He said when he learnt that I was in more contact with a much distant relation than himself.
There were no two ways about it, the reason I was closer to one than the other was because we constantly communicated and did not default to the lazy conclusion familial ties will return to full strength each time contact is made regardless of the passage of time.
We, in times past heard that old saying that ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ The truth still is the fondness is borne of activity invested in the relationship before the absence. If little was invested, it is unlikely the fondness, the reminiscing, and the nostalgic feeling will be there.
Cultivate and tend
Yet, people take it for granted that blood ties will trump any other relationship when it comes to the crunch. It might for the sentimental, it rarely does for those able to detach themselves and recognise the value of cultivated relationships.
Yes, relationships need to be cultivated and tended to much as one will to a garden or a farm. These relationships can be filial, parental, marital, conjugal, collegial, of friendship, of acquaintance or any other relationship of humankind.
Sadly, most estrangement in relationships comes from what one will naturally observe of nature. A place not tended to will eventually be overgrown with weeds. A farm will not yield a harvest if weeds and pests ravage the plot. Much of this is rarely borne of commission and more of omission.
Pragmatism in choices
That is not to say that the tendency to indifference and bloody-mindedness does not exist in certain relationships that we further down the line hope to reap unwarranted benefits of. Invariably, it comes to a point that one has to choose the relationships one needs to cultivate and leave out the ones that stress out and encumber with damaging psychological burdens.
A sense of freedom comes from being able to live one’s own life absent of the need to please others or engage in a soul-destroying battle of constantly wishing to meet the expectations of others. That is not to say one is not under constant scrutiny and open to criticism to the choices one makes. The real issue at the end of the day is whether you first past caring and consequently, whether you are happy.
In the pursuit of happiness, the best suggestion is to cultivate the relationships that matter the most to you and they probably having nothing to do with blood relations, but everything to do with communication, interaction, agreement, comfort, ease and safety with those you have developed trust and friendship with.


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