Thanks to the eternal seek-and-find-to-grow-a-little journey we all find ourselves on throughout life, I joy in stumbling onto special small gems I can embrace and use both now and in the future. A recent example is an article written by Emily Esfahani Smith, “Masters of Love,” which remarks how lasting relationships come down to the consistent practice by both parties of two traits—kindness and generosity. (Find it by searching TheAtlantic.com.) With practice, we soon learn that a little kindness can go a long way with untold resonance in any arena of life.
With the big-hearted tradition of Valentine’s Day headlining February, we are shining light on authentically individual ways to live love with great kindness in our Enlightened Relationships issue. Judith Fertig’s feature article, “Happily Coupled: Creating Loving Relationships that Work,” celebrates the rewards of our consciously fostering such deep connections based on shared values.
It seems so simple, so why do a majority of marriages continue to fail? Absent personal expertise with wedded bliss, I found myself thinking about the effects a little kindness and generosity can have on improving any relationship, as well as our overall quality of life.
Just this week a friend shared another gem, this one from a book about the 14th Dalai Lama in which he’s quoted as saying, “Love is the center of human life. Without love we could not survive. Human beings are social creatures, and a concern for each other is the very basis of our life together.”
An excerpt from a wedding I attended sums up the quest well in my book: A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you.” It is never going to sleep angry. It is standing together and facing the world. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not only marrying the right partner—it is being the right partner.
Warm wishes always for happily thriving relationships with your tribe.
Maisie Raftery, Publisher