Monday, October 26, 2015

A Good Metaphor for Life and Marriage

Sunday evening I officiated Megan and Zach’s wedding ceremony at the Hickory Street Annex in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Zach beautifully describes the birth of their relationship, what he loves about Megan, and one of the interesting behavioral commonalities they share:

"I knew I had found someone special. From the first date... I knew she was the one. She's so funny and quirky... She's beautiful, smart, and extremely giving and gracious... We're both pretty clumsy... we always have to warn each other when there's a bump in the road coming up to make sure we don't trip... I... think this is a good metaphor for life and marriage."

Now, at first blush, you might actually disagree with his premise. I mean, would it not make more sense if the clumsy person found a non-clumsy person. Would that not be a better way to avoid tripping over the bumps in the road? Aren't you almost guaranteeing MORE falls if you are both clumsy?
Megan actually gives the perfect answer to this question. I am not sure she even realizes how perfect it was when she wrote it: "I met the perfect guy at the perfect time. I got very lucky!" (Pause.)

Now, at this moment you might feel underwhelmed by that short quote. You need to understand what happened before Megan and Zach met. You see, they both were extremely methodical, careful and deliberate in the run-up to meeting each other. They only met with those whom advanced algorithms told them they should. On top of that, Megan had drawn up a detailed list of qualities she wanted the choices of the algorithm to meet. And she states that she, "had a lot of first dates, no second dates..." So, on a superficial level, you might think that this couple would be justified in saying that luck had nothing to do with arriving here today. So, why does Megan say what clearly both of them feel, that they got lucky?

Because, Megan and Zach recognize that even if you methodically plan, and carefully execute your plan, there are factors you can't think of. So much in life is beyond our control. Now, when you are the clumsy type, you learn this lesson very quickly. You understand that smart and methodical as you may be, luck plays a large part in your existence. This, in turn, helps you develop a sense of empathy for others' failings and stumbles. This sense of empathy helps you develop perhaps one of the most important qualities for life and love: being non-judgmental.

Being non-judgmental means you understand you need to gently warn others from time to time, and that's OK. Being non-judgmental means you understand that even when you warn others, from time to time, they may fail, and that's OK. Being non-judgmental means you understand that even when people fall, it does not mean that they are any more flawed than you, and you can and should help them back up.

When we look at society around us today, I am not sure there is a better lesson for life. When we look at marriage, there can be no better recipe for a long lasting union. This is the important lesson Megan and Zach teach us here today.

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