GOOD RELATIONS: There Is No Room For Ego On The Path To Good Relationship


By Zile Singh


“A great relationship is about two things, first, find out the similarities, second, respect the differences.”


What is Relationship?  The way in which two or more people or things are connected or state of being connected.  It’s  synonyms are: connection, relation, association, correspondence, parallel, tie-in, tie-up, alliance, bond, interrelation, interconnection.  It is also a state of being connected by blood or marriage.  It is also the way in which two or more people, groups or nations  regard and behave towards each other.


One of the oldest and the most enduring rules of human relations is ‘to do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’  Also, ‘The only way to have a friend is to be a friend’.


Communication, Commonalities, Respect and Trust are essential  for a successful and lasting relationship. Communication can be verbal as well as written.  Most of the time it is verbal.  It is conveying or sharing of ideas, feelings and  expectations among people in a relationship.  People with common goals and similarities  have better chance to develop a good relationship. The family is a school to learn the art of a good relationship.    Mutual understanding and respect among all members of the family are necessary. It is very difficult to raise children as good citizens without harmonious relations in the family. These days, the divided families are taking a toll on the proper development of children.   To have good relations, we need to  respect each other and inculcate a feeling of trust. A relationship without trust is like a cell phone without service.  And what do you do with a phone that does not have service?  Play games”.  Our ability to develop good relations determines how successful we will be in our family life, workplace and outside world. ‘Unity in Diversity’ is a good example of useful relationship and strength.  Diversity or differences need to be respected.  Multi-Culturalism is a good example of   homogeneous relations in an ideal  society.


Relations have different levels like  personal, family, society, national and international.  The international relations are the ways in which two or more nations interact with and regard each other, especially in the context of political, economic or cultural fields.  The Diplomatic Missions seek to improve international relations. The  Federal and the  Provincial relations are strengthened by following the guidelines enshrined in the national Constitutions.  Good relations among different segments of   society are governed by the ethical and moral values like  liberty, equality and fraternity. ‘All men are born equal’ is a good example of personal relations.


In Hindu scriptures, a family life is very important because it is where the children learn right from wrong.  The children are taught to obey, respect and care for their parents.  Similarly, “let man and woman, united in marriage, constantly exert themselves, that they may not be disunited and may not violate their mutual fidelity”.  In Christianity, scriptures offer a clear hope for our relationships.  The New Testament offers hope that our relationships can be characterized by things like humility, gentleness, patience, honesty, peace, forgiveness, compassion and love.  Good relations between parents and children are explained thus in the Quran, “Quran equates good relations with parents as an integral part of Tawheed, as if to imply that one who abuses their parents by disobeying and being rude to them, is like one who is doing shirk, because they are disobeying Allah directly”.  A lot has been said about the family relationship in Sikhism.   A family is an essential unit of the whole social structure.  The Gurus encouraged a life of a householder.  Sikhism is based on the principle of respect and equality. “If you honour your parents, your children will honour you.  We are conceived and born from women. The  woman is our lifelong friend and keeps the race going.  Why should we despise her, the one who gives birth to great men?”  Osho, a great mystic of modern times said, “Relationships are at the heart of most of our significant life experiences.  They help to nurture our body and soul and teach us many important lessons.  Relationships help us to see and understand ourselves through the eyes of the other.”


All  are not born with natural abilities to develop good relationship with others.  Like any other skill, good relationship skill also can be learned if one devotes time and efforts. Some of the ways to improve relationships at work and  at home are to smile, make eye contacts, address people by name, speak with a friendly tone, be attentive, express gratitude, slow down, reflect empathy and compassion, have good manners, demonstrate thoughtfulness, give genuine compliments, give salutations as the occasion demands, be generous and kind, be patient and truthful, be reliable, be forgiving, apologize, take responsibility, and express love.


Similarly, there are several factors for  an unhealthy relationship, like criticism and ridicule, lack of communication, disengagement, aggressive behaviour, inability to forgive, loss of emotional intimacy, substance abuse, verbal and physical abuse, dishonesty and secrecy, poor money skills or values, competitiveness, nagging etc.


“Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.” –Confucius.

Mr. Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer and a Vipassana Meditator. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca .





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