Who speaks into your life?

September 3, 2009

in Good Marriage

Seth Godin recently had some wisdom about “Critics that matter“:

“Some critics matter. (Your biggest customer, for example). Some are merely loud. Others are just difficult.

<snip>

The challenge is in figuring out which kind of critic is worth paying attention to as you create your product or service. In a business to business setting, pleasing the gatekeeper and the bill payer is essential. On the other hand, pleasing an angry blogger might not matter at all.

In our desire to please everyone, it’s very easy to end up being invisible or mediocre. Far better to please the right people.”

In life, we have critics; people who judge what we do and tell us how they think we should do things. Who do we listen to? Who are the “right” people when it comes to matters of marriage?

It seems to me we should listen to those who have fruit we would like to have and ignore those who have fruit we don’t want. When my bride and I were having trouble early in our marriage, one couple who wanted to help us had a marriage neither Lori nor I wanted to have. So we said, “no thank you”. Perhaps they could have helped us with some issues, but we were unwilling to risk trading our problems for the one’s they had.

I’m not saying we should only receive from those who are perfect (if that’s your goal then you should certainly stop reading what I have to say!). I think of it this way – does someone look to be someplace I want to be, or have they been where I want to be, or are they well on their way to where I want to be? If the answer to any of those is yes, then they may well be able to help or guide me. If the answer to all of those questions is no, then they have nothing to offer me. On the other side, is there anyplace the other person is living or going that I know I don’t want to be? If the answer to either is yes, then I need to be very careful if I choose to receive from them. It’s not as easy to pick and choose as we want to think; we pick up things both good and bad from those we spend time with. When we open ourselves to receive from someone it’s unlikely we will be able to filter out all the bad.

 

1 comments
jdgreene
jdgreene

The other advice I would want is someone in whom I have seen a change or have heard from them that they had past problems in their marriage which are obviously gone now. I would ask how they got there in the first place (so I could avoid maing the same mistakes))and then how they got out (just in case or to help someone else whio might be struggling with the same issue(s)). Not necessarily asking as a couple, but more on a one to one with the guy involved. However, I do agree with your general theme that we should look at the fruit we desire and avoid what we don't want. Never rejecting the person, just passing on the help as you did.

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