One Person Sharpens Another

The growing trend for adults to live alone is one I can understand. After all, it means never having to negotiate over who cleans the bathroom or at what temperature to keep the bedroom. But is living alone healthier?

To answer that question, let’s backtrack a bit and talk about how, as a society, we evolve. Each generation is slightly different from the one before, thanks to either what I would term drifting evolution or intentional evolution. Drifting changes tend to be those that make life immediately easier or more pleasurable but result in regression down the road. Intentional change takes work and effort up front, but fights against our baser instincts and yields long-term benefits.

Sharing all of life with another person is difficult – but it matures us.
The trend toward living alone and even living together without a marriage commitment is a drifting change, based on our desire for immediate comfort and happiness. But it ends up destroying the beauty of the human experience.

Only the presence of another person can reveal our selfishness and prompt us toward learning the art of compromise and working together.

The alternative is to retreat into our own world, where we are so absorbed with personal comfort that we can’t be bothered to hear the concerns of another person or be inconvenienced to consider someone else’s needs. Is this what we really want?

Just as our bodies were made for exercise, our souls were made for relationship. Is it easier to loaf on the couch instead of going for a run? Sure. But what stresses a muscle also allows for strength and survival. Likewise, as the timeless wisdom from the Book of Proverbs says: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. We grow stronger as a result of the pressures we overcome together when we embrace relationships and community.

This article is taken from Juli Slattery’s Blog, February 2012
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