Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Partners for Life. Marriage: The Ultimate Duet (with Special Video Clip!)
In today's day and age, just about everyone is an expert about things like life, relationships and dare we even mention marriage?! The average person is clear about life values, what's important, how to judge others (or rather not to) and just about anything that's worthy of being under the heading of "life-skills."
Looking at today's divorce rates, it's clear, "everyone" is an authority about what being a life partner is all about, and how to go about finding one too. Running a Shidduch service and "bumping into" dozens of young (and elderly) singles, I've learned that it's the young who are far clearer today about real moral ethics than the elderly have ever been. They are often ready to share their own knowledge about what they know as being right – whether in terms of who they are looking for (rightly so!) or whether in terms of how the Shadchan should do their job. They are quick to let you know whether you're entitled to charge for your efforts – and even quicker to let you know that you just don't know a thing about life (or them!) There are of course those who are sincere, ready for real life and willing to hear another opinion. (And to those like that, I say "THANK YOU!")
Today, everything is about instant gratification. We're the ultimate "I"nstant generation. Whether it's the latest gadget (that may have an "I" somewhere in its name – usually at the very beginning!) or whether it's simply about the "I"go (sic). The main thing is that in today's world a 56K "I"nternet line no longer does it for the need for speed when it comes to downloads, uploads or "I"nstant talk with a prospective partner (for life!) Today everything is Mega this and Mega that (taken out of the context of MArriaGE!)
The world of Shidduchim has become far too laborious for the average "I" person. In the "good ol' days" a caring and concerned friend (mentor etc.) would take charge of guiding two people to their future destiny. Today it's "I"nternet sites filled with pictures of just about every variety of colour and shape anyone could ever imagine. Clicking on the image will give "I"nstant gratification as one learns all about another person, from their age and location to their favourite hobbies and what they enjoy doing with their time when life is simply too boring to doing anything worthwhile.
The main page of many of these sites sports a graphic or the like, indicating the "successful" marriages made – often in the thousands – luring the newbie into imagining that the fantasy portrayed is the reality. Personally, I've never seen any of the sites indicating if anyone divorced and whether the general statistic of the divorce rate applies to individuals meeting this way (though I do know of people who have divorced.)
Are people fickle though? In setting up our Shidduch database, we put effort into designing a comprehensive questionnaire to really steer singles into learning about themselves and what they want in life. Many have never joined us because they felt the questionnaire was too long – and they wanted to stick with the "I"nstant gratification principle. Speed! If only there was something quick – they said! So we set up a special 60 second Shidduch database exclusive to the "I" generation person. In just 60 seconds, you can find out exactly who you are, tell us about yourself and we'll let other "on-the-go" singles know all about you. Great idea?! Ironically, emails came in laughing at the thought of the possibility of a 60 second Shidduch.
Today – we have both options available. If you're ready to get serious – there's work to be done! But if you think that's funny, you can always join the quick-fix! Of course, if you think that *that's* funny and you feel things should actually be serious, and you're still laughing at the serious system – then you may find yourself at a loss for ever finding someone – let alone – yourself.
So what could we imagine marriage to really be all about? Do we realise the commitment we're making or are we more interested in the quick-fix (how ever it comes about and how ever long it lasts for?!)
Imagine a piano… It plays music. Great! You could get yourself some good keyboards for just a few hundred dollars. Now, imagine learning how to play it. It's going to take time, and money of course. But even then for just another few hundred dollars you could probably manage that too. You could even become good at it. But it still requires some commitment.
Ever played piano together with someone else though? It's called a duet. And now, playing piano takes on new vistas altogether. It's not really all about the "I" any longer actually. It's now about the "you", the "we" and "it's really best that we keep in tune!" It's all about the timing and the time… It takes a lot more effort to play together, in harmony, in time and with the correct rhythm when you've got to coordinate your music with someone else.
And then of course imagine switching roles every now and again?! Imagine jumping from your side of the piano to your partners, as they take over your role – and then back again – yet again!
Imagine though handling all this. And as you change roles (a breather!) you still have enough time for a moment of love. Imagine sharing a touch as you pass each other – a touch of kindness and love as the roles are exchanged. Imagine finding the time for this?!
Imagine – as things always happen – that as you're busy changing roles you collapse! But you still get up again remembering exactly where you left off? No hard feelings. No… The feelings of love are still there. Playing the piano can be great fun when done together. Playing music in harmony with another is a great blessing! And one never has to give up, because it can be done.
Of course, the piano is easy to acquire, and even learning to play it can be done. But doing it all together takes much more work, and dealing with the normal "falls" of life can be quite disconcerting! But when one is doing all this with a life time friend – one might find it a lot easier. After 62 odd years together, one might actually enjoy it.
I guess that's what marriage is really all about. It's about getting the piano together. It's about learning how to play the duet together. It's about changing roles and still showing the love when both are needed (always of course!) And it's about being able to get up after the fall – still with a great smile on one's face. It's not at all instant. I don't believe 60 seconds will do it (though it's there for those who are interested!)
But, as so many young (young) singles have shared – what do Shadchanim know about making introductions today?! They really don't know a thing about the person concerned, nor what's important in a married life. I must therefore take leave of all this preaching, and leave it to the experts now.
Enjoy the video. Just a superficial glance is enough to tell anyone in just a short moment – what marriage is really all about.