The continuing string of gossip reports on celebrity infidelity (and public fascination with it) raises troubling questions about American society’s understanding of romantic (and other forms of) commitment. The prevailing notions of male inability to invest and sustain a monogamous relationship dominate the internet, movies, television, and print media. On the day when Tiger Woods returns to golf and the web buzzes with euphemisms about his marriage, I thought I might share a resource on fidelity and stable relationships. We need to find better ways to resist being seduced by the temptation to be naughty.
The misunderstandings of these relationships do not stop with dating and marriage. Even friendships and professional associations can be fraught with miscommunication, isolation, and emotional distance. We need to find more effective ways of supporting and investing in each other with force and meaning over time than just clicking the ‘like’ button on our various statuses, links, and notes. The future of our society relies on our ability to re-connect in transformative ways with the people in our lives. We all face a world that demands more of us personally and professionally.
Can we find a few minutes to grow together more as couples, families, workplaces, and communities? It might not be exciting or sexy or taboo in any of the ways marketing executives try to lure us to their products. It probably will not be inappropriate in ways that lead evening news reports or titillate in late-night comedy routines. My upbringing as a child of a church mother and an Army staff sergeant taught me the tremendous value of discipline and restraint in the pursuit of making good choices. Love for humanity springs from the sacrifices we make to forgo the easy path to gratification. Let’s try to teach and affirm this valuable lesson for each other more often.