Would you risk your life to shake hands with a total stranger?
Last week we did and here’s why…
We had only met him two minutes earlier and as Christian reached out to shake our hands, during Coronavirus or not…
After what had just happened among the three of us, it just didn’t seem right to leave Christian’s hand hanging there.
We had no choice. We HAD to shake his hand.
We couldn’t leave his outstretched hand there, waiting for the ultimate acknowledgement that even though he was from a small African country almost 5000 miles away…
We had a moment of true connection and he had found two new friends, as well as a true brother and sister in the two of us.
Here’s what happened….
“How do you do it?” Christian asked after seeing that we are still in love and after hearing us say we were about to have our 21st wedding anniversary.
“How do you stay in love for 21 years when I’m struggling to make it to 10 years?”
As we were standing on the sidewalk outside his house talking, here are some insights he had…
1. Treat each other as your beloved
We often forget that love and appreciation can be a normal part of our interactions, not only with the person or people we live with but also strangers.
Christian was so grateful that in his words–we “gave him love”–each time in the past we had said “hello” as we passed by when he was sitting on his porch.
He realized that at times, he didn’t give his wife this kind of love and that he could do much better expressing it to her.
2. We are all different
The second reason we told him that our marriage worked after 21 years was this…
Every one of us in relationship are really different from each other.
Even though that seems obvious, we somehow forget and assume he or she thinks like we do (or should).
The trick is to spend your time making the parts of your partner (and the other people in your life) that you love, like and appreciate bigger instead of focusing on the parts of them you don’t like or understand.
Christian agreed that he and his wife were so different.
We could see the softness in his eyes that he had a new understanding of what drove him crazy about her and how he could see those differences in a new light.
3. This moment is all we have
THIS moment is the only moment you have and if you treat that other person like THIS moment is the only one and the last one you’ll ever have together…
Special moments will be created and before long, you’ll have a lifetime of special moments because you don’t take each other for granted.
Christian had never thought of this and could see the truth of it.
What we don’t realize is that in every moment in every relationships there’s a choice and a chance for true connection.
We either open or hearts and accept the risk or we close our hearts and we blow it.
We LOSE the opportunity to meet a brother or sister in love in that moment…
Whether it’s a stranger or someone close to you.
As we were leaving, Christian asked if we would come to dinner at their house for an authentic African meal.
We agreed and we all felt uplifted from our shared experience on the sidewalk.
How about you?
You may already know these ideas that we gave Christian but do you practice them in your daily life?