T H E V A L U E of R E L A T I O N S H I P is inestimable and the value in relationship is mind boggling, its essence not found in its bind but in its bond. That’s my conclusion of the whole matter.
You might have noticed that I like to open my treatise from a conclusion standpoint and work my way up to the introduction part. I believe that the conclusion isn’t just the final word but also a condensed statement of the text, summarizing the thrust of the discussion. So I open up my conclusion first to introduce a caption which I hope captivates (attracts and retains) the reader’s attention, then I substantiate my position on the topic of discussion in a bid to validate my submission. This approach ensures that I use the conclusion as a compass to guide me through the paragraphs, and it has worked well for my presentations.
Today we discuss the value of relationships. We are mostly comfortable with the things we are familiar with, especially our relationships. It is a process we have grown up being a part of, one way or the other, so we feel we know the basics about relationship, but do we really? Relationships are indeed value-adding systems, once entered into, it adds or subtracts from us leaving residual deposits in its wake. Either way it goes, we are never the same.
Until you understand the dynamics of the system, relationships would be a tricky business. If you’ve once seen a ship, I mean an ocean liner, then you can imagine the level of craftsmanship involved in building such ship. A visit to the dockyard where ships are built and you will observe an array of skilled and semi-skilled workmen committed to the task of producing sea-worthy vessels. The great TITANIC ship was built in three years and on her maiden voyage in 1912 was wrecked in less than three hours. Relationships that move from good to great involve a lot of work which continues throughout the span of the relationship, and distraction for a short spell can work to put to waste all the long years of service.
Relation ships have a lot in common with sea vessels. Here are some of the values which relation ships share with sea ships:
RELATION SHIPS ARE BUILT ON COMMITMENT OF ALL THE PARTIES INVOLVED TO FOSTER GROWTH AND PROGRESS
All ships are built by hard work. Here, everyone pulls their weight by fulfilling their purpose on the team. Builders pay attention to details and demonstrate a keen sense of consistency in working within the timeframe. They know that time is crucial and it cannot be increased, so they have to manage the available time. Relation ship builders understand that ships are built to specifications and so must work tirelessly to achieve results as a team and to contribute their quota towards meeting the demands of ship – building.
Leaders agree that ship building continues after the ship has left the dockyard, just like nation building continues long after the sovereignty bill has been passed or the declaration of independence signed. One of the best ways to build a ship is to keep building. The bigger the ship, the better it is.
As I round off this point, I emphasize that relationship building requires a consistency of commitment. Ask people who are into ship building, they will tell you that no one starts building with wood and finishes with steel. The kind of consistency required in relation ship building can only be learned. It is not stumbled upon.
Greek philosopher Heraclitus believes that “everything in nature is in a state of constant change” so consistency can be an onerous task as it is in conflict with the basic human nature. Historian Ernest Renan concludes that “the way not to vary is not to think.” That again is a serious challenge for man for he is naturally a logical being, but the key is to stand for something and commit to its implementation, as any inconsistencies from builders can sink the ship.
RELATION SHIPS ARE VESSELS FOR ACHIEVING MORE THAN AN INDIVIDUAL CAN ACHIEVE ON HIS OWN
Man has used small boats for navigation across waters, for fishing and for recreation purposes from time immemorial. But as time passed, there arose the need to move goods and services across the high seas, making it easier and faster to transport en-masse across waters. Vessels are relatively large containers by design with hollows to hold its contents.
These ships called vessels are instruments used for progress by humanity, and when properly driven, can bring about fulfillment. Think about people who go on a round-the-world cruise. The journey is pleasurable so long as the sailors sail the ship aright and there are no casualties.
Relationships are usually about the journey. Relation ship partners have to agree on a course of action to change position (move) from where they are to where they want to be. That’s why only a vessel will do in moving them together to their destination.
RELATION SHIPS ARE GREAT PLATFORMS TO HEAR VIEWS DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN PROVIDING AVENUES FOR DEEP INSIGHT AND INNOVATIVE RESULTS
The things people do on ships are amazing. You can live on a ship for years and not feel the need to go ashore. Well, so long as you do not get sea sick. People eat, sleep, stroll, shop, and swim on board. They go to the cinemas, play ball, tennis, and even golf on ships. The possibilities are endless on a ship and what’s more? I never saw a one-man crew effectively sail a ship, so you can be sure of company – meeting new and exciting people – on board.
As the journey progresses, renounce the hermit in you and make it top priority to meet with these new people and you will be surprised at how much knowledge you will have gathered at the end of the journey. Human beings are social creatures who like to relate with others, when discussing with them, engage them in stimulating conversation. Take notes of relevant and new ideas and make corrections where you have to. You may not like where you started from, but you have no excuses for where you will be tomorrow. So I say “now is the best time to make those decisions and invest into your future.”
RELATION SHIPS OFFER A SYNERGY OF RESOURCES, ENERGY, IDEAS MAKING CREATIVITY A LOT MORE EASIER
I’ve made sense of Ben Okri’s quote on creativity. He said “creativity is the art of the impossible.” Creativity is the ability to create. It is the birth of what appears not to be- the impossible. So I render my own version as “creativity is the birth of the impossible.”
There is possibility in every “impossibility” when there is a connection and understanding between partners in a relation ship. When people go aboard ships, they know that it’s for the long haul as no ship travels from origin to destination in five minutes. (Remember: we are dealing with ocean liners here.)
Connection with new people will help keep you occupied and energies, ideas and resources will be channeled and combined in different ways to create a win–win situation for everyone involved. I once read that our commitment towards the growth and development of others will keep us away from the perils of boredom, envy, poverty and strife. I’ve found this to be true.
To get outside of relation ships without experiencing the joys of high energy, the zings of different ideas and the synergy of resources is to jump ship. Make the effort to connect with people, the more people on your network, the more influence, creativity and resources you have at your disposal. So what are you going to do about this?
Set out to achieve actionable heights with your knowledge base and the world may yet celebrate you. Remember relationship was designed to give you a push. But unless you step forward, you cannot get ahead.
The Value of Relationships continues next week and in all of your relationships, ask not what your relationships can do for you but what you can do to grow and strengthen your relationships.