Sunday, December 19, 2010

And relational beings

I was listening to the radio a couple weeks ago, and, sorry I cannot rightfully give credit where credit is due, the announcer stated, "We are relational beings." I did not listen too closely to the rest of his blurb because I was stuck on that one statement of him claiming that you and I are relational beings. Perhaps he was being a bit too overzealous, because I have heard stories of hermits and agoraphobes who's main objective, or obsession/disorder, is usually to stay as far away from other beings as possible. However, there is still the majority that this D.J. is referring to: the other 99.2 % of humans who are relational beings, myself being one of them.

Let's not overload ourselves too much into a sociological perspective, but one thing I do carry with me from my minor in sociology is nothing too outstanding, but I find noteworthy nontheless. A professor had us once write down on a piece of paper the numbers 1-10. He then instructed us to list ten things of who we are. If we were willing, we were allowed to share the first three items on our list with the class, with number 1 being the most important. Students responded with a range of items: Mother, Sister, Brother, Marine, Baseball player, Musician, Volunteer, etc. The professor then asked us, "How many of you can be any one of those things without having some kind of relationship with another human being?" We did not look around to our peers in amazement because this was very blatant and easy to process. The things that we take part in and value in our lives can always relate somehow to another human being.

Listening to the earlier radio D.J. and looking in retrospect upon past conversations in college courses, I turned the outside to myself now: What kind of relationships have I been involved with in my past, and what kind of relationships am I involved with now? All relationships are different. Some we are forced to be a part of, some we fall into, some we force others to be a part of, and some, well, just happen.

Let's think about the one category of relationships that we choose to be a part of. How did you get into this relationship? Why are you now in this relationship? Are your efforts in this relationship being reciprocated? Where will this relationship go? How would your life be different if it weren't for this relationship in it or never even occurring in the first place? Of course we don't know the answers to these questions exactly, but I think that we should constantly be evaluating ourselves and our existence among others in the world. I am not telling you that we should measure ourselves against others through rationalizing, but rather that we should constantly be measuring how our choices in this life affect others.

"Love others as you love yourself." How do you love yourself and how much do you love yourself? Do others really want to be loved as you love yourself at this point in time? Evaluate yourself and where you stand in view of yourself before you become a relational being with the wrong beings in the wrong relations.

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