An effort to create love is easily thwarted when we act in ways that divide. Repeating past transgressions of friends or family is one such act. It comes in the form of the familiar negativity of gossip, self-righteousness, nagging, and requires remembering and hanging on to resentments of feeling wronged.
A Bible verse, Proverbs 17:9, says it well and offers a solution of choice.
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
Paraphrased: “If you cover and forgive a transgression, you seek love, but if you repeat, or harp on a transgression, even good friends are separated.”
When you forget that you’ve forgiven and continue to rehash a transgression, you not only set the stage for rudeness but occasion further transgression.
When we’ve taken offence at what a friend or family member says or does and assumed that it is resolved and settled, letting it go in forgiveness is the best course of action to create love. Otherwise, we may risk damaging the relationship.
However, there is a natural human tendency towards negativity—the human brain is resentment-wired for the negative! (By some measures, 80% of our thoughts are negative.) So, we’re practically bound to fail unless we intentionally commit to a better and positive way out.
I have a relative who makes lists of things she needs to improve upon and says them aloud after writing them on a notecard, which she then carries on her person each day. “I will be kinder.” “I will exercise more patience.” “I will talk less and listen more.” As she says, “I referee myself as I live in the game of life.” And when she calls a foul on herself, it’s only done to take notice and get back in the game of positivity and occasion the possibility of love in all realms of life.
Etiquette-ful moments can help create love:
Your personal source of inspiration can always be called upon for help in the moment when forgiveness keeps slipping away, especially in what appears to be very polarized times when friends and colleagues hold different beliefs of the world and say or do things that provoke you.
The politeness of etiquette is a vehicle that can be driven daily by any of us, as each can singly opt to carry a share of the heavy lifting that helps create love in the world. Let etiquette and politeness prevail.