Recently my newly married personal trainer asked me, “What’s the key to making a relationship work?”
After I wrenched my mind from concentrating on rolling my thighs on the hard foam roller (painful relief …), I gave him the one word answer I always do, “Communicate.”
There is so much involved in that one word. If there is one consistent theme in my novels, it’s the need for characters (people) to communicate–with themselves, their loved ones, the world.
I’ve repeated this more than once, but one of my favorite sayings is from St. Francis of Assisi: Seek ye first to understand, then be understood.
If I could, I would emblazon that on top of every tweet, Facebook post, email and headline in the world. I’d post it all over our schools and political institutions. What would our lives be like if everyone took a moment to understand? It doesn’t mean you necessarily get to a full understanding or agree with the other, but that you seek to try.
In the book I just finished, Second Chance Christmas, there’s a lot of misunderstanding going on. Some of it intentional–an embezzler wants to misdirect attention away from him- (or her-) self. Parents and children, spouses, exes, and would-be lovers all have their turn in the “failure to communicate” spotlight.
Success requires an effort to understand someone else.
As you go about your day today, I urge you to “… seek first to understand …” The world needs it … but more importantly, it will make all your relationships a little bit better.
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