Do unto others.
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Gary Schouborg, PhD
Schouborg, Gary (2014).
"Our Relationships Must SING or Die".
Our Relationships Must SING or Die
Gary Schouborg, PhD
There are at least three possible responses to the above title. The first intuitively grasps its point; the second wishfully takes it as promising more thrills than it does; and the third balks at what seems yet another over-hyped promise of happiness. In fact, this blog aims to meet its promise to the first, ground the second in common sense, and satisfy the third with a realistic understanding of spontaneity as the antidote to anxiety.
SING is an acronym for “suppose innocence, not guilt.” It expresses what I believe is a fundamental principle of life, explaining how we relate to others and the world around us through a triad of spontaneity tempered by caution to produce a reliable trust.
SING tells us that living begins with spontaneity. We could not get out of bed in the morning, let alone get through the day, if our first instinct were caution. If our first instinct were to question what we were about to do, we would have to question why we are about to question what we are about to do. We would never get started. To act at all, we at some point simply have to act.
Yet only a fool is completely spontaneous. Even infants are sometimes wary of the unfamiliar. The world can be a dangerous place. There is plenty of room for caution, for assessing the risk of what we are about to do.
From spontaneity and caution arises trust. In assessing risk, we estimate reliability. When we hop out of bed, how likely is the floor going to be as solid as it was yesterday? It is usually so likely that SING never raises the question unless the building has just been severely damaged. Whether we are interacting with new acquaintances, old friends, or loved ones, how likely is it that they are going to tell us the truth, keep their promises, treat us with affection and care? Such questions arise according to circumstances. Our life-long challenge is to trust wisely, balancing our primal need for spontaneity with caution: a common sense of the risk involved. That of course is easier said than done, especially since our culture often promotes grotesque and confusing stereotypes of all three elements of the SING triad: spontaneity, caution, and trust.
For the rest of the article, click on http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201409/our-relationships-must-sing-or-die