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Relationships and Commitment (standard:Editorials, 1288 words)
Author: GXDAdded: Dec 17 2010Views/Reads: 1900/1152Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The tradition of commitment has served humanity for millenia, but it's not cut out for a fast-changing twenty-first century, like now and tomorrow. Think about it.


A. Relationships form when two or more people meet   They develop bonds 
based on feelings exchanged -- feelings that reinforce mutual identity, 
 interests and purposes.  This is true of a boy and girl, two old men,  
a group like the Red Cross, an institution like General Electric, and 
so on. 

B. The relationship forms, bonds, develops, grows and changes as the
world  changes.  Each individual adapts to the changes, and grows in a 
personal  and individual way.  Suddenly, one day, it becomes clear that 
few of the original bonds and mutual identities, or interests remain.  
However, the relationship continues, in traditional fashion, because 
commitments  have been made, implied (as in house-sharing), expressed 
(as in marriage vows), written (as in business contracts) and so on. 

C. Commitment is a concept that represents a certain feeling.  It arises
as a modeled, imprinted or learned skill, quite differently from 
empathy  and compassion, which are reflections of genetic, DNA or 
molecular  structures and patterns.  Your mutual appreciation of a 
particular smell  (for example) generates emotional energy; like 
flowers expressing love. 

Making a commitment involves following certain rules agreed between two 
people, or three, or millions –- as in a "kingdom" or "nation" or a 
system of belief held by a particular "church" community. 

D. Unlike the empathetic bond that characterizes relationships,
commitment   is an instrument that serves a purpose, and it has always 
been abused by the individuals in a group who seek leadership and 
exercise authority.  This includes kings and courtiers, 
presidents-congresses-judges, groups and institutions , etc.  
Throughout  all of history, including right now, this  "top-down" 
pyramid has been a salient characteristic of human relations. 

E. As one example (please, only this one, merely to illustrate my
concern over this issue), take "love and marriage".  The love that two 
animals have for each other is one of many bonds forming a 
relationship.  It is felt, like poetry or music.  Traditional married 
commitment isn't “felt” but “contracted”.   Commitments are moral 
contracts, rather than ethical agreements. 

When two animals are fulfilled together in nearly all ways, and may even
have kittens or puppies or children, then all is peaceful in the land 
and the Leader has  little "work" to do.  Productivity in a “love” 
relationship is adequate to sustain all. There are festivals and 
celebrations, no crime, no violence, no envy, no greed, no 
deceit....and no marriage commitments are needed: people willingly 
share abundance with those who manage, or who carry out essential tasks 
that contribute to richness in relationships. 

Times change.  Seasons change.  Opportunities beckon to individuals.
Some work too hard and become ill.  Others become too successful.  
Soon, strains arise leading to stress in marriage-bonded relationships; 
things become uncomfortable as the individuals grow.  The stresses of 
change lead to unrest, and when this becomes severe, it leads to 
emotional pain, which damages and weakens the bonding of earlier times. 
 On the other hand, in an unconditional “love” relationship, the 
strains become a basis for cooperation; the growth as individuals 
becomes a cause for mutual celebration; the changes promote a higher 
level of emotional security and trust.  This reinforces the bonding of 
earlier times. 

The animal instinct for self-preservation, self-esteem (glory),
self-reliance (independence), self-awareness (insight) and 
self-expression  awakens the primitive "fight-or-flight" syndrome in a 
traditionally contracted legal marriage.  Unrest, impatience and 
discomfort  arise in the community bonded by commitments like marriage 
contracts and mortgages. 

Among mankind's earliest attempts to consolidate the emotional bonds
that make loving and devoted relationships, the kings and spiritual 
leaders came up with a marvelous human invention:  Commitment.  They 
realized that the healthiest and most productive children grew from 
relationships which had long-term bonding "commitment" to remaining in 

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