With glistening eyes and a pristine voice, actor Ewan McGregor wooed Nicole Kidman with the song,
“ Love is a many splendored thing
Love lifts us up where we belong
All you need is love.”
Love is many-splendoured, uplifting and definitely needful in our relationships to give us the most happiness and highest well-being. It’s great happiness to enjoy connection and chemistry with the people around us. Together, people make magic – love is shared, ideas are sprouted, feelings flourish, lives are liberated, wounds are healed. Only in a loving community are all these possible. People tend to be more generous and open when they sense the spirit of the community is a loving one.
That being the case, our relational self care plan is to learn how to love better so that we can create a sense of community and enjoy interpersonal harmony.
How do we go about relating harmoniously? Start telling yourself:
- “I love people”
Kelly Rowland in The Voice Australia was saying how camaraderie was formed among the contestants and her colleagues when they were working together to harness the singing talents of Australia. Camaraderie, the mutual trust and friendship among people, is so needed in our social lives.
To be a friend, show yourself friendly (The Bible, Prov 18:24). When you are friendly, you send signals that you are ready and willing to befriend and develop the relationship. Scientists claimed that we have mirror neurons that help us connect. When someone speaks with a certain accent, we mirror back with a similar accent. In so doing, we will appear friendlier and seek some form of connection for the relationship to take off. Mirroring can also come in the form of actions. When our neighbour gives us home-made bread, we give them blueberry tarts. The more people can mirror accurately and appropriately, the more social exchange can happen. Love blossoms as a result.
- “I love to help”
One trait that distinguishes us from robots is compassion, said Mr Jack Sim, the Founder of World Toilet organisation. He is the right person to say that because his compassion for people who are not as privileged is admirable. He raised funds and awareness to build toilets for developing countries. Compassion is gut-wrenching but Mr Jack Sim goes about doing his charity work with humour and lightheartedness.
We may not have compassion that reached the United Nations level as Mr Jack Sim has achieved. But we can show compassion in our own sphere. Doing acts of kindness not only benefit others, it strengthens our immune system, elevates our moods and makes us likeable.
Ask ourselves frequently, “Who can I show love today?” Start with small gestures of love. Ask, ‘What do people around me need?’ I became a psychologist because I realised that people needed a listening ear. And I couldn’t do much listening when I was a school teacher. I resigned from the teaching service and started the counselling career in my 40s. My cousin in her 60s, a nursing director, said, ‘ People need help. And I can still contribute.’ That’s compassion at work and that’s inspiring!
- “I love ideas”
Networking is a buzz word these days. People spend time and efforts to see how they can best come together to produce greater works and better effects. From business to religion to families, it is necessary to collaborate. Why collaborate? Exponential effect is achieved when there is collaboration. “One pursues a thousand, two puts ten thousand to flight.” (The Bible, Deut 32:30) One Belgian horse can carry 8000 pounds; two can carry 24000 pounds. And Belgian horses raised from 2-3 years old can carry 30000 pounds together.
Whatever capacity or opportunity you are given to collaborate, use it. It greatly benefits you and your social world:
- Change your way of doing things and make it more effective. Writing a blog was as a result of collaboration with my husband. I write and he teaches me how to publish it on the various media. I changed the way I do things and it’s making it more fun and far-reaching.
- Complement others and enhance the work outcomes. I have a friend who is very good at making dumplings. She wants to raise funds for a project in Cambodia. To get a substantial amount, she needs to make 500 dumplings. But she couldn’t make that many on her own. She rallied a team to complement her cooking skills. It was all win that weekend – they got their target amount, both in dumplings and in money.
- Capitalise your strengths as you get the opportunity to keep using your abilities. People will seek you out when you are good in a skill. That skill may even be regarded as your signature skill. What are you good at doing? Keep capitalising it. It will bring much happiness to the people around you.
“I love ideas”
Ideas sprout via collaboration