Few centuries ago people relied on community for financial support, security and also for justice. There was little reliance on banks, courts of law and police – even if they existed in some form. This gave people a reason to invest in relationships.
As the time passed by, individuals became more prosperous and resourceful and started relying less on outside help for living a comfortable life. Later, we moved into 20th and now into 21st century — the need for community support apparently diminished. This was powered by an open information economy and technological innovations.
If you wanted a career opportunity – you need not ask your well settled relative for a better job. The leading job portal found that for you better than your relative. You need money, banks are there for you. You need to secure your house — latest security gadgets do that work for you. No need to plan travel with fellow travelers for a possible month long travel to reach another country. Today you book ticket online and reach overnight into a new country even thousand miles away — without any need to know who the person sitting next to you is.
These days we live a life in silo – wherever possible – because it is convenient for most of us.
At the same time – we talk about good old days when people were happier and healthier. Is there a reason why people in old times — enjoyed life more. Because they shared and valued long lasting bonds more than anything else.
Have you tried asking yourself why people flock so much over at social networking websites? Simple, because it gives them an opportunity to share and connect. We as social animals long to create lasting bonds. Lack of lasting bonds creates a void in our lives. These networks fill this void at least to some extent.
But do you think all this mindless social networking is a real replacement for relationships that we enjoyed in good old days. No, I say. Genuine relationships are irreplaceable and will continue to be as valuable as they were in earlier days. We need to water our relationships to make them last.
Watering, because relationships are similar to growing a tree. You plant a sapling, nurture it with water and nutrients and see it grow into a tree.
In a relationship — a chance meeting becomes an acquaintance, it turns into friendship when you meet often and a level of trust is developed. Then you continue nurturing the relationship through care, love, a feeling of mutual respect and comfort.
When you water the plant of your relationships they will turn into sturdy trees. Through long lasting relationships you will find people in your life that will be your pillars of strength.
Ask yourself do you have such people in your life that you can call at any hour and share anything which is on your mind — ask for help, seek advice and just speak your mind. If the answer is yes then you are lucky. If the answer is no then you need to figure out a way to nurture your friendships.
Most of the city-dwellers — many of them DINKs (double income, no kids) prefer to live their own life. They mostly get into weekend relationships. Meeting — people they call friends — over weekends. I am fine with this weekend relationship mode. But the problem comes when you change your friends every year.
Many people cite lack of time for not nurturing their relationships. Such people should explore 24×7 to 4×4.
You have read so far means you understand the value of genuine relationships and want to find a way to create relationships like that.
So here is a simple track for watering the plants of your relationships and creating long lasting bonds.
- Meet: “Out of sight, out of mind”. This saying is used mostly in romantic context but it is applicable in all kids of relationships. It is important to tell people that you are there. So take time out to meet people in person. Invite people over at home. Go visit their homes, meet outside — meet the way you all are comfortable.
- Call: Just to say hi or to ask how things have been and to share good news with them.
- Gifts: Give gifts — need not be very pricey but something which is useful for your friends.
- Email: You can send an email whenever you find something useful for your friends. This is different from sending an unending stream of email forwards. Do not send bulk emails. If you do not have time and intent to send a unique message to an individual then better not send it.
- Remember birthdays of friends and families: When you do that it tells people that you care for them and they have some importance in your life. Do not do it only for a year – but year after year. Great if you can do this for the families of your friends. Because when you do special things for people who matter to your friends – they will be happy and thankful to you.
- Send hand-written notes: There is so much of email these days and hand written notes make a distinct impact.
These are no tricks but just a small set of ideas to show that you genuinely care. Use these or use any of your special ways to tell people that you care and also that these people are important in your life.
To a beautiful life — for you and your loved ones.