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A Genie For Love
Photo: Daniel Mohorovic
Three guys walking on a beach together stumble on an ancient lamp. As they pick it up and hold it, suddenly a genie pops out.

“For freeing me from my prison,” says the genie, “each of you will receive one wish.”

The rancher among them says, “I’d sure like to be back on my ranch with all my cattle.” Poof! He’s gone.

The cabbie says, “I’d sure like to be back in New York City driving my taxicab.” Poof! He’s gone, too.

“And what is your wish?” the genie asks the third guy.

“Well, I’m kinda lonely here with the other guys gone. I wish they were back with me!” Poof! Poof! Welcome back guys!

Chronically Lonely

A Gallup poll a few years back discovered that one in three Americans are chronically lonely. Busy work and family schedules, geographic mobility, divorce, and fragmentation of families are all increasig a sense of isolation and a deepening need for meaningful relationships. Which heightens the significance of knowing how to build good, healthy relationships.

Remember the hugely popular TV sitcom "Friends," the ongoing stories about six young adult friends living in Manhattan? The show triumphed for 10 seasons, essentially helping to define or at least describe American relational culture. The show’s theme song stated:

“See no one told you life was going to be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear, when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year. But I’ll be there for you (when the rain starts to fall). I’ll be there for you (like I’ve been there before). I’ll be there for you (cause you’re there for me too).”

Who among us wouldn’t want to enjoy that kind of relationship with others? So what does it take?

Fostering good relationships is about providing spaces to nurture meaningful connections with each other and others, where we’re learning how to say “I’ll be there for you ….” Having good relationships might not be as easy as rubbing the magic genie’s lamp—but who knows—your deepest wishes could come true.

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By Greg Nelson. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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