by Phortis Nespin
Having just celebrated my 35th anniversary, I thought I would share the best piece of marriage advice I ever received.
I was walking past a neighbor’s house a couple of weeks before my wedding. The man that lived there was in his 90’s since the day I met him 15 years earlier. He always seemed to be 90 something. I remember attending his 75th anniversary party with my parents. Sammy was a golden glove boxer in the days when boxing was a career path.
As I passed he called me to his front porch and asked me to sit with him. Sammy was a short stocky Italian with an attitude. The nicest guy you could meet unless you pissed him off. But on this particular day he was in a giving mood.
Sammy looked at me as said, “I hear your getting married and I want to give you some advice.” Of course my ears perked because this was a rare opportunity to listen to a very respected member of the neighborhood. “There are three things you need in order to have a long and happy marriage” he continued, “First of all you need to talk to your wife. Don’t just complain to her, but seriously tell her how you feel, she is not a mind reader.”
“The second thing you need to do is listen to her. Don’t just hear the words, but understand them and ask questions if you don’t. You’re not a mind reader!”
“The last thing you need is to compromise! The last word of the Good Lord dying on the cross was not leaving you in charge of the world! She has every right to a good life as you do.”
Never sleep on the couch or go to sleep at night without finishing an argument. Compromise is a shared settlement. Sometimes she wins, sometimes you win. In actuality, you both always win. It all comes out even in the wash.
Compromise is the giving up of yourself, your Ego, for the betterment of all. There are times that we all need to give into our egos. Self- preservation is a fine example of giving into our egos, but never at the expense of someone else’s life or safety.
Our topic for this month is EGO; yet Humility. I will admit, when I first read this I said something to the effect of…BULL S^%&%T!! My first impression was that if we have an ego, you can’t have humility.
But then I realized that having an ego does not mean egotistical. Although the ego has to do with “the self”, it does not mean selfish. We all have an EGO in the contexts of being self-aware in the psychological and physiological sense. It is in the context of being aware only in the needs of ourselves, and forsaking the needs of others, that the ego becomes dark and evil.
A false humility is when this undesirable ego uses praise as a way to feed their ego, by accepting that praise insincerely. So as I contemplated the Ego; yet Humility concept, it came to me that a Jedi Ego is based on Service to Others. In that context, humility would be a given, as a Jedi does not seek to receive as much as he wishes to give, for it is in the giving that a Jedi receives!
Marriage is the ultimate example of Ego; yet Humility. We must fully commit ourselves to the relationship, be selfish in wanting to build a good life for each other, yet maintain a modest or low view of one's own importance in building it, as compared to the importance of the relationship with your partner itself.