Mario Moreno Cantinflas once said, “I love…, you love…, he loves…, we love…, you love…, they love…; were it not just a conjugation; but a reality.” All too often in today’s society it appears that we think of the aforementioned as only a conjugation. The ‘culture’ today seems to celebrate indulgence and reinforces immediate gratification. The devices that we use seem to promote the notion of egocentrism; the names of the products that we use have the first person singular pronoun in the names.
Frequently, I am challenged with the task of intervening with families once their interpersonal dynamics have been compromised. I am invited to facilitate a change in the family system and to intervene accordingly. Lack of communication, an unwillingness to listen, to empathize, or to unconditionally love the other appear to be factors in many presenting issues. Parents don’t listen to their children. Siblings don’t empathize with one another. Spouses don’t love unconditionally.
Spouses, parents and children, siblings; if you want to be heard, listen. If you want to be understood, empathize. If you want to be accepted as you are, love unconditionally. It’s a sacrifice. It’s a lot of work. It’s difficult. The payoff, however, is great. “When you do for others; others do for you.” Be the first to break the habit of screaming me, me, me, me, me…, I, I, I, I, I. Serve the other. Think, “What can I do for you?”
Parents tend to ‘know’ what their kids ‘ought’ to do. Children have humorous notions of what their parents ‘owe’ them. Husbands are quick to state what their wives’ ‘duties’ are in the home and wives with much certainty rattle off what husbands are ‘supposed to do’.
Parents, preoccupy yourselves with what it is that your role is to be as a parent. Your children will quickly pick up on what is expected of them as a result. Spouses, steadfastly start to work on being the best spouse that you can be. It’s amazing how quickly your other half will respond to meeting your needs. What is needed in our society is a paradigm shift. Diligently work to meet your loved ones’ needs.
If I, you, he, she, we, and they get in the habit of doing this on a consistent basis the aforementioned conjugation will turn into a reality for those who apply it. As such we will be passing along to subsequent generations a legacy, one in which the recipients of our love can emphatically declare, “íSí, somos felices!”
Dr. Roy A. Salgado, Jr.