A tumbler of water teeters on the edge of the coffee table in the middle of a busy room. In a flash and a crash, the tumbler tumbles to the floor; clunk. Water everywhere.
In the moment of the fall what did you do? Feel? Think?
Well, of course, as anyone in that position would do I …
My finger raises and I tilt my head to the side calling you to think a moment about starting your answer that way with a teasing scold, “Ah, ah, ah.” Your questioning face studies my knowing grin.
Not everyone would respond the same.
This is a bit of an age old situation given to illustrate a truth.
Some would run for a towel.
Some would tell someone to run for a towel.
Some would reprimand the one who knocked the tumbler over.
Some would look scornfully at the one who caused the interruption.
Some would comfort the one who knocked the tumbler over.
Some would try to turn the incident into a lesson or teaching opportunity.
Some would philosophize.
Some would attempt to diffuse the tension with a quip.
Some would laugh.
Some would ignore the occurrence altogether and change the subject.
Some would alert the children to stay away in case of broken glass.
Some would physically remove the children from the room.
Some would start composing a blog post in their mind.
Some would go on with whatever was happening before.
Some would jump up startled, whether the water spilled on them or not.
Some would apologize, whether they caused the problem or not.
Some would look for a way to get the person who lost their drink a fresh tumbler full of water.
And those are just a few; you probably have a few more to add to the list.
The point is: be aware of the diversity in this world and choose to celebrate it.
A secondary point could be: know thyself.
Combine those two points and we have a wonderful understanding happening.
Here is a fun little exercise I do in my premarital classes. We talk about what values / morals are, where they come from, how and when they are formed, etc. I give them a few examples of values in our society such as: loyalty, ambition, and punctuality. Then I ask them to take a few moments and write down what they believe are the top ten values that govern their personal lives, listed as well as they can from one, the most important, on down to number ten. This is an individual activity so things are quiet for some time as they ponder and write on their sheets of paper. When they feel that they have a good representation of the top items of their moral compass we compare lists.
The surprise is rich! When it is inevitably obvious that this lovely young lady and this honorable young man have very different core values we have a platform for discussing how to mesh these two wonderful personalities into a loving marriage.
So I would like to know… when the tumbler tumbles what is your gut reaction?