In my latest post, WARM RELATIONSHIPS: LESSON FROM PORCUPINE I stressed out how being tolerant to one another is a prerequisite for warm relationships.
But, that’s not enough.
We must learn to be humble, to say sorry, and to wear our hearts on our sleeves.
Read the following story and find out what I mean.
BROTHER AND SISTER
A young man and his sister survived a disaster that killed the rest of their family.
At first, their relationship got very close because they needed each other's support to overcome the trauma they suffered.
They comforted each other, shared their fears, and became dependable on each other.
Life confronted them with other challenges and this caused some cracks in their relationship despite the strong love between them.
They began bickering with each other for minor things till both of them reached the point they could no longer stand each other’s company.
“I cannot stand you any longer, you are bothering me all the time”, the girl kept repeating.
“Well, I am fed up with you too, you are only good at criticizing”, the brother kept replying.
In less than a year their relationship became unbearable.
They stopped talking to each other, but deep inside they were suffering from this and wished things could get better.
Yet, neither of the two was ready to apologize and admit to being wrong.
One day it was the girl's birthday.
She hoped that this might be the opportunity to make peace with her brother.
Suddenly, she heard the phone ringing.
She ran to answer the call expecting it was her brother who wanted to wish her a happy birthday.
In her heart of hearts, she was hoping the deep love and connection with her brother could rekindle and shine again.
She held the phone impatiently waiting to hear her brother say: “Happy birthday, I am on my way home”.
But, she was disappointed, there was someone else on the phone, “Good afternoon, is that Mr. Rob’s number”?
The young woman hesitantly replied, “Yes, it is. Who’s speaking”?
“I’m the police chief constable and I am sorry to have to tell you that there has been a serious accident and a man has died”, was the answer.
The constable went on: “I got the number from Mr. Rob’s wallet, you should come to the police station to identify the body”.
The young woman hung up and burst into tears, she thought she had lost her brother forever.
“Why is life so hard on me?”, she cried out.
She went on: “He is such a good brother, he has made mistakes, but so have I, he has faults, but so do I.
Both of us have misbehaved, but I know that our love for each other has always been boundless.
We are very different and we value different things in life but I love you more than everything else.
Today, for my birthday I had planned to say sorry to you and express all my gratitude for all the support you have always given to me, but now it’s too late, you are dead”.
Suddenly the doorbell rang.
She dragged herself to the door and when she opened it she couldn’t believe her eyes.
It was her beloved brother.
She hugged him, more warmly than ever before, she covered him with kisses and then she said sobbing: ”I am sorry, I am so sorry for the way I’ve treated you”.
The brother was moved and became emotional.
“I am sorry too, not only for not trying to reconcile with you but also because I didn’t inform you yesterday that my wallet had been stolen”.
They embraced each other warmly and they celebrated the girl’s birthday as the rebirth of their relationship.
They had learned the lesson, they promised that they would no longer wait to say: “I AM SORRY”.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
This story teaches a profound lesson, i.e. life might not give us another chance to forgive someone we love and say “I AM SORRY”.
Life might not give us another chance to say “I LOVE YOU”.
Life might not give us another chance to express our gratitude to the people close to us.
Life might not give us another chance to give someone a hug.
So let’s not postpone it, let’s reach out to the people we know we have been misbehaving with, and let’s show them our love.
Let’s be vulnerable first, someone must take the first step, let’s not allow our ego to prevail.
Let’s reconcile today, not tomorrow!
Life is too short to hold grudges, to fight all the time, to let someone down.
Let’s spread our love and let’s avoid having regrets later on in life.
Who have you been misbehaving with?
Who should you reach out to and be affectionate with?
I am off to give a big hug to all members of my family, they deserve it.
Looking forward to hearing how you have reached out to the people you care about the most.