The greatest advise came from Jesus Christ: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is easier said than done. Most people do not even understand what this “love” is, that Christ was talking about. We are humans. We have an instinctive need to bond. We reach out to belong. We may not understand it, but we crave for this unity.
Here is an acronym CORU, that may help: Care, Openness, Respect, and Understanding.
These four words can help simplify Christ’s advise and guide the individual towards loving someone and be one of the stewards of the universe. Every sentient being communicates and therefore needs to practice CORU.
Before any relationship is established, there is the initial “contact” point. For a couple this could mean “chemistry” from the first contact. First contact can be random, accidental, initiated or planned. For a relationship to continue and prosper there is always CORU.
- Care: If you care for something, someone, a pet, a career, a hobby, a sport, an idea or anything, you pay serious attention or consideration to doing, working or relating correctly to avoid hurting the individual, damaging the object, or putting it at risk. If you care, you are nicer, you are kinder. Caring makes us a protector. Caring allows us to maintain the goodness. Caring invokes an emotional attachment. Caring leads to loyalty. Caring makes you steadfast at your tasks. Caring creates hobbies.
- Openness: If you are open or transparent, you avoid cheating or lying, you avoid secrecy or concealment, you avoid the gnawing pains of loneliness and regrets. Openness helps build trust. Do not make the assumption that your opinion is not valid or that your words are meaningless. Voice it out with respect. Your are being straight forward or frank. Listen to both sides of the story before you conclude. Communicate with an open attitude and never take yourself or the other person for granted. A smile on your face makes it easier for others to open up. The book of wisdom: Job 13:5 has been taken out of context: “Oh, that you would altogether be silent! This for you would be wisdom.” Silence (tranquility) is a great way to communicate with God. However, we are humans. Our senses must be invigorated with words, touch or gesture. Open up. Communicate. You can’t build a relationship without communication. You can’t productively communicate without being open. You can’t build trust without communication. Never assume that someone already knows what you feel. Be open. A simple hello can lead to a nice conversation. A handshake or fist bump may lead to a meaningful hug. A wave of the hand in a friendly gesture can put a smile in someone’s face. Communicate.
- Openness does not mean expressing your opinions without “filters”. Be aware and sensitive to the feelings of other people. That is why you must first care before you open. This however, does not mean that you should avoid hurting others at all cost. Sometimes the facts must be laid out. But in doing so, you must always exercise prudence.
- Respect: GIVE RESPECT. DO NOT EXPECT RESPECT. “Respect is to be earned, only if lost once given.” If everybody is expecting respect, how can there be respect for one another? On the other hand, if everybody gives respect, there will be no need to expect it. The only time that respect needs to be earned is when the respect that was kindly given was disrespectfully lost. Anything done without respect is done either for the money, for a reward, as an obligation, out of tolerance, was told to, was forced to, was coerced to, or for vanity.
- Understanding: To have compassion, patience, and sensitivity, for the action or words of the other person. To listen and comprehend, to communicate. To be prudent before reacting. Sometimes the person you care for may have made a mistake per your perception, but before you react or conclude try to understand the reason for her/his actions. That is why openness is important.
CORU must be tempered with attitude. Attitude is developed from childhood. Your past, your perception of your surroundings and events contributes to the development of your attitude. Attitude becomes embedded in our personality. People tell you to develop a positive attitude. “Don’t be negative” is what everybody hears when an opinion is contradictory. It is good to think about a positive attitude but it is not easy to do. So it is best to develop and “open” attitude.
Start the day with kindness to yourself and others. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean that your are selfish, it is healthy way to start the day. Kindness to others can be in the simplest way of showing respect for the opinions of others or by talking in a softer tone of voice and not condescending. Allow others to express themselves without intimidation. Be nice.
Temper has a nasty way of leading to anger and anger has a tendency to lead to disagreements and then escalate to an argument. Loving couples sometimes get entangled in this mess. This is easier said than done, but when you realize that the conversation is leading to a shouting match, it is time to take a deep breath and seriously ask yourself these questions, “Do I care about this person? Do I want to hurt this person? Are we hurting each other now? Why am I risking this relationship?” When you have the discipline to ask yourself these questions, chances are you are on your path to PRUDENCE.
Learn to walk away from disagreements even from bullies. But if a bully insists to be abusive (verbal, writing, gesture, or physical) and you are more than capable, then by all means give the bully an attitude adjustment.
Hone your skills in the art of CORU. Practice it to be able to love and ultimately be PROSPEROUS and HAPPY.