At a recent closing conference luncheon, the next host country, China, provided beautiful scrolls with a different saying on each. There was no notation on the beautiful red box which saying was inside.
Several at my table unfurled theirs to have our Chinese table host read the calligraphy. “Happiness” read a few. “Long life” said the others, including mine. Thinking for a moment, I decided I didn’t want long life unless happiness accompanied it. I didn’t want to be miserable in old age.
So I unrolled the extra scroll at our table and hopefully held it for our host to read. “Long life” she announced. Drat!
I was determined, so I went to an empty table and began untying scrolls. I’d now learned how to tell the difference between the two messages. One after another read “long life.” I could have stopped, but I was searching for happiness!
I carefully retied each scroll as I continued my search. After a dozen or so, finally, happiness was found!
How does this apply to dating — and life?
I was clear on what I wanted and unwilling to compromise. I could have just walked away with long life and taken a philosophical stance that one makes one’s own happiness, no matter what. Sure. Sounds good.
But since I knew I wanted happiness and it was out there, I just needed to put a little effort into finding it. With a little diligence, I found it.
In dating, you can settle for less than you really want and convince yourself you will make it work. Or you can say, “I know what I want and am willing to keep searching until I find it.”
I will now hang both scrolls in my home as a reminder that I can have both, with clarity and persistence. And I hope my future partner realizes that I searched hard to find him to enjoy long life and happiness with him.
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