[The following is an edited excerpt from a post of mine on the forum “I’m Waiting For My Irish Shepherd”, dated December 7, 2007. A year later, and after all I have written on this topic, I have to say I believe this is the ultimate crux of the issue. Enjoy.]
What I wanted to say was along the lines of how to save headache and heartache. I think it doesn’t have as much to do with a method (dating, courtship, casual friendships, family-based activities together…) as it has to do with an attitude.
I think the dominant attitude in our culture today is one of self-gratification: what’s going to make me feel good, what’s going to satisfy my longings, just as long as I’m happy…
In order for our friendships and romances to be right and good, there is a basic tenet of love that we need to adopt. It’s a missing link in our society and in the way we look at each other; and that is simply an attitude of selflessness. We need to care so much about the other person that we no longer base our decisions on what feels good or seems right to us at the moment, or even to them at the moment, but on what we know is going to be best for those involved in the long run.
And that’s true love. I know I sound far removed from the emotional heat of the moment that goes on. But honestly, we should live like that every day, with every person, shouldn’t we? It should become so much of a habit so that in every moment and at every turn we are both committed and competant to keep our paths straight and do what is right for our souls. Not only save yourself headache and heartache, but save each other from headache and heartache because God says to do this for one another.
This is as much paradigm shift and a challenge to me as to anyone else. I really really really want to hear what everybody else thinks about this.