Many of us are preoccupied with our own thoughts, busy running around and getting our work done that we take for granted the most important things in life. It’s usually the very things that give our life meaning, such as our relationships, friendships and family. Often, like a structure in antiquity, we assume they will always be there.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, even if they were built on a firm foundation.
A historical building, like a solid relationship, is a thing of beauty, to be treasured over many generations. Considerable amounts of money and time are invested by qualified restorers whose care and meticulous attention guarantee the preservation of a historical structure. Our relationships need just as much nurturing and consideration, yet we spend minimal time on them, until it’s too late. We can’t expect a relationship to retain its beauty if we ignore it. Undoubtedly it will eventually decompose, under neglect and ill care.
Solid structures left standing over years, are the ones built on strong foundations. Brick by brick, an endurable fortress is constructed. Immovable, they do not crumble under the unpredictable elements of nature, nor bow to the heavy hand of time. We stand in awe of castles and buildings, centuries old, yet still standing.
If the relationships we build have strong beginnings, they too, stand like fortified castles. Over years, they are unable to be broken down, building resilience to harsher times. However, sometimes we take this for granted, or misjudge their strength, only to be surprised and disappointed when they crumble under pressure or threat.
Perhaps in the past, they had more time to pay attention to detail. The great contradiction of modern life is all the technologies that are supposed to provide us with more time, actually keep us more preoccupied. There is always one more thing for us to do; check email, text, call, fax, the list is long.
We postpone things because we assume we’ll always have time. The fact is, time passes and if we neglect the important things like our relationships, they fall into disrepair. On the other hand, some structures are demolished where there is no hope, preparing the way for something new. Other times, friendships that have run their course, will fizzle and fade away, even with close attention. There is nothing that can be done to salvage them. Perhaps, it’s the difference between knowing when to let go and when to rebuild.
We take for granted that all structures, even the most solid, are impermanent, as all things in life are. Even the best of relationships will evolve. When this happens we are able to recount with our loved ones, our experiences, and the milestones we’ve shared. Oftentimes, it’s the historical stories that provide meaning and value to a structure. The same can be said for relationships. Our stories create a bond because of our presence through the battles and victories.
If we look back at what we have built in our lives, the many structures, the relationships, all the important things taking precedence over others, we see that some have stood the test of time, while others fell by the wayside.
We think the solid structures like strong relationships will always remain where they are; consistent and permanent. The truth that nothing is permanent becomes all the more relevant to our daily life. With the passage of time, the need to enjoy, cherish and appreciate the important things grows urgent. Perhaps the next time we find ourselves taking someone or something for granted, we will be reminded of the care and attention needed to maintain quality and solidity over the years.