Sunday, August 19, 2018

Overwhelmingly Grateful

Saturday evening, I officiated Rachel and Mark’s wedding ceremony, at the Renaissance Dallas Addison, in Addison, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

In fact, in Rachel and Mark’s relationship they continuously emphasize not only how they try to learn from every circumstance they find themselves in, as individuals and as a couple. They emphasize how much they learn from each other.

The Ancient Rabbis said, “Who is wise? He who learns from every person.” True enough; but I found the use of the word “person”, specifically, interesting. Why? Because of something Rachel relates about their first anniversary of being a couple: “He took me to his parents’ house where he made me dinner and we ate outside a secluded area in the background surrounded by string lights and yard lanterns. I knew from that moment that I couldn’t lose him. He was, and will always be, my person.”

(Gentlemen, could you hear the barely perceptible groan from the ladies here, about this guy being formally taken off the market in just a few minutes? We better step up our game!)

Seriously, though, it’s the use of this term “my person”, on Rachel’s part that caught my eye. Faith Fishkin writes, “The term ‘my person’ originated from the show ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ My own personal definition is the person you go to for everything, the person you can’t live without, the person you can’t stay mad at, and the person that supports you in everything that you do. Being someone’s ‘person’ is a commitment. There is a very big difference between being someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend and being someone’s person. When someone is your person, you have such a deep connection and understanding of one another -- you pretty much know each other like the back of your hand.”

Now, again, true enough, your “person” need not necessarily be the same as your romantic partner. However, what Rachel is telling us is that sometimes like in her case, you hit the jackpot, and you get both in one tidy package.

Now, conceivably, you could be someone’s “person” without a whole lot of mutual learning occurring. So, what do you need to do to take it to that next level, where you mutually learn from your “person”? You need a specific ingredient. Which one? Well, the quality Mark exhibited when he first met Rachel, “We met at a fraternity party a couple times and whenever I talked to her while I was a freshman I always thought that she was a senior, so I kind of thought she was out of my league.” What Mark is telling us is that you need humility.

Humility, a quality that both Rachel and Mark exhibit, is a prerequisite not just for recognizing how pivotal relationships can be in our lives, but a prerequisite for any learning. After all, if you think you are perfect and know everything already, why try to learn?

So, Rachel and Mark, what we wish for you is that you continue to be each other’s “person”, and continue to learn from each other. Continue to think about each other the way Erin Parker writes about her “person”:

“I feel completely and utterly indebted to you for the part you’ve played in my life, but what’s even greater is that I know you’d say the same. What you do for me is exactly what I’d do for you, and that’s what sets us apart... We do for each other because we want to, never for something in return. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t feel overwhelmingly grateful that you’re on my side.”

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