May 10, 2012

Six Simple Rules for a Happy Relationship

David Isay, recipient of numerous broadcasting honors and author/editor of numerous books, is also the founder of a remarkable oral history project called StoryCorps. It’s a very simple idea. With help from a facilitator, a couple in a relationship or any two family members face one another and for forty minutes one asks questions then listens.

When the interview ends, the participants walk away with a CD of the conversation, and a second copy is sent to the Library of Congress so that someday descendants will hear their voices and their stories.

Isay’s newest book, All There Is, is a collection of stories about relationships gathered from those sessions. He calls it a “a testament to the heart’s remarkable endurance."

Eighty-five year old Leroy Morgan’s story is about his long and happy marriage which he attributes to the following six statements he and his wife, Vivian, use with each other: (1)You look great; (2) Can I help; (3) Let’s eat out; (4) I was wrong; (5) I am sorry; and, most important, (6) I love you.

Those six simple statements summarize in less than twenty words the key to any satisfying and happy relationship.

Leroy’s statements can also be paraphrased and applied to our relationship with God:

(1) Appreciate the beauty of God’s natural world; (2) Help those who are not as rich in blessings as you are; (3) Give thanks for your daily bread; (4) Confess your sins; (5) Ask forgiveness for your sins; and most important, the first and greatest commandment: (6) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)

Link to StoryCorps