The importance of good relationships
by Dr. Angel V. Somera

The expression – “No man is an island but part of the main.” This saying clearly emphasizes the fact that nobody in this wide world can survive if he lives alone in utter isolation. When God created Paradise, He also created Adam. But He said: “Man should not be alone. So, He created Eve to be Adam’s companion. This is the start of human social relationship. Then, the first parents formed the first family, until they multiply and peopled the earth.

Studies show the great importance of good relationships – families, relatives and friends who live harmoniously and peacefully – live much longer as compared to those whose social relationships or connections are few or absent. Even people who tend to plants and pets live longer than a solitary soul. Relationships are so essential to a long and healthy life.

Sometimes we are alone by choice or by some circumstances. But there’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. For instance, some people live alone and have few friends, but they fill their lives with wholesome activities and interests. This is not so bad. Why? They are happy, contented and feel fulfilled. They aren’t lonely. Other people can be lonely in a room full of families and acquaintances. For some reasons, they don’t make personal connections well. They shun socialization. By nature they are loners. These people can feel isolated even if they are around people all the time.

Sociologists and psychologists report that people who regularly give and receive affection are much healthier in general, live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life than those who do not. Here’s a great saying: “The key is to love and be loved.” It’s an important part of the overall balance and lifestyle in one’s life.

Here are some tips for bringing sound relationships in one’s life:

- Be sure to make time for friends. A social network of friends help fights loneliness and isolation. It prevents depression, anxiety, boredom, dissatisfied feelings and poor health. A company of faithful friends can help one achieve good feelings and positive emotions.

- Get out and socialize. Don’t be an isolationist. When friends call to invite you out with them, don’t decline. Accept the invitation.

- Stay in touch with your close relatives. As we grow older, we miss a lot of trusted relatives. They may migrate to far places or may have already died. You may greet or E-mail them regularly, eat-out with them, see a movie, or picnicking with them, etc.

- Now is the time to mend broken relationships, too. Remember that life is too short to harbor grudges, or mourn lost relationships. By all means, before you say goodbye to this world, be sure to settle and put aside your differences. As St. Francis of Assisi said: “It is in forgiving that we are forgiven.”

So, don’t fear relationships! Share what you have with your friends – “your nearest neighbor.” This is a true sign of maturity and a self-fulfillment!

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