Relationships are very sensitive and need to be cherished. Sometimes in life, they are threatened. Every conflict puts a relationship to the test, and we have plenty of conflicts in our lives.
As part of my work as a state director of the Together for Humanity Foundation, I often lead discussions with kids and teachers about ways to deal with conflict and how it impacts our relationships. One story we tell the kids is the story of the Sand and Stone. This is a story that is important to keep in mind for every relationship: parent-child relationships, couples, friends, work colleagues, countries, enemies and for any two people who are in a relationship.
A while ago, we posted a poll on our blog called “Divorcing Your Parents”. Hundreds of people participated and most of them indicated they had a strained relationships with their parents. I think this is an example of what can happen when one (or both) people in a relationship do not take the approach of the story about Sand and Stone. I hope you can.
Sand & Stone
This is a story of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of their journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand:
“TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE”
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her. After she recovered from the near drowning, she carved onto a stone:
“TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE”
The friend who had slapped and then saved her best friend asked, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone. Why?”
The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so that no wind can ever erase it.”
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.