Sunday, July 5, 2009

This I Believe

Our friend Jenny asked my wife Margaret "What keeps you in your marriage?" And of course Margaret put the question to me. At the time I gave a short answer:

My relationship with Margaret not only allows for growth, it demands it.

Now I have had time to think and it really has to do with my outlook on life.

Comfort - I believe this value is far over rated. Comfort is the place of mediocrity and is a place where things are not so bad that you wish to change them, but not so good that you are enjoying anything.

Victimhood - This is just out. I believe here are no adult victims in life, absolutely none, we are all simply experiencing the consequences of our own choices.

Service - I believe the purpose of life is to live a life of service. I view serving others as a privilege and a joy. I seek meaning in serving the world. I never forget to server myself, so I will continue to have the energy to give to others.

Balance - I believe that life is a balance between "doing" activities and "being" present. Every "doing" should be balanced with a consciousness of "being" to give it meaning.

Choice - I believe I am always in choice. I may not be able to choose the "doing", but I can always choose the "being". So even when I am faced with an event that is force upon me, I can choose my emotional reaction to that event.

Happiness - I believe in authentic happiness that comes from optimism, human interaction, appreciation, working hard, learning new things, taking risks, and having new experiences. I am not much of a fan for short term pleasure and I rarely watch TV or read fiction.

Leadership - I believe although the purpose of life is service, to lead others in service is to help them find purpose. Waiting for someone else to take the lead is always a waste of time. This is true at home as well as at work.

Attention - I believe those things I wish to flourish must be given attention. Attending the family, health, work, and personal finances are my highest priorities. I am aware that attention is a limited resource and I must choose where I apply it. Some things, such as a clean house, often fall off the end of the list.

These are the things I believe. My relationship with Margaret is not one of idyllic easy-going pleasure, instead it is filled with challenge, growth, and meaning. This is what keeps me in my marriage.

No comments: