For me, living life to the fullest is more than an overly inspirational goal. It's a part of my everyday thought process. How can I maximize the limited time I have on the planet?
Voice mail. Instant messaging. Email. Video conferencing. Download what you need, when you need it, and even if you don't! More opportunities and tools are available to us in the 21st Century than at any other point in human history.
Relationships, however, do not cooperate very well with instant and disposable mores. They require work, time, and emotional energy. And then some more effort on top of that! Our postmodern affinity for deleting anything not on our current agenda makes it easier to walk away than to invest ourselves into one more individual.
But relationships are still an essential element to human success, even in a postmodern world. If they are going to work, they require consistency, care, and genuine empathy. And that slow and cumbersome process can be very frustrating when your perspective shows that you are right and the other person wrong (or at best misguided).
As my parents always drilled into my brother and me after a crackin' fight, it is better to be in right relationship than to be right. Part of a successful journey is arriving at the finish line having invested yourself in countless others. That means giving up your right to be right. That is living life to its fullest.
And maybe that is what the Golden Rule is all about. Tolerance. Forgiveness. Patience. Understanding. Longsuffering. Giving another the benefit of the doubt. Wanting for another what you want for yourself. Love.
Moses, Confucius, Socrates, and Jesus all taught variations of it. At least eight world religions do as well. It's a higher way, a better way.
Put your relationships right today.
(c) 2006 Jonathan D. Benz, used with permission. To receive Blue Sky Meditations weekly, click on the link below.