Chinese character for the word harmony paired with a painting from Ink Figure Painting by Wu
Harmony with Others
Welcome to part 2 of our series on Harmony. In part 1, we discussed attaining harmony with oneself. If you missed this, you can see it here. In part 2 we will discuss living in harmony with others. This is a large topic that has particular relevance today. Many of us have observed that our modern society seems more divided than ever before. Even as I write this sentence I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. In tackling what seems to be a large and complex problem, I am searching for a short cut.
Here is the shortcut: See Part 1. In other words, attain harmony with oneself and harmony with others tends to work itself out. Why is this?
You as a Complete Person Partnering with Other Complete People
When we attain harmony within ourselves, it normalizes our relationships with others. Without finding harmony within ourselves our relationships tend to be co-dependent. We overly rely on others for our sense of happiness and look to others for validation. These types of relationships, be they romantic, friendship, or family are very difficult to keep harmonious. Both parties view themselves as incomplete and rely on the other to act in a certain way or trade certain things to keep the harmony. This situation is not sustainable. Eventually one person must unevenly sacrifice their freedom for the benefit of the other. Children pursue careers that they feel no passion for to make their parents proud. Spouses demand their partners dress in a certain way to quell their jealous insecurity. Friends pay each other backhanded compliments as a way of undermining each other's self confidence.
On the other hand, people in harmony with themselves tend to attract cooperative, win-win, relationships. The world is rich with different intentions. For every desire that you have, there are many people whose own desires pair with yours in a way that both of you will feel joy partnering to fulfill each other desires. Seeing these types of partnerships in action is like watching an effortless dance. There is tremendous beauty in two complete people coming together in this manner. It produces energy that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is the very definition of synergy.
Common Mistake to Avoid
Most people that think about producing more harmony in the world start in the wrong place. When it comes to harmony with others, it is best to start with "the man in the mirror." One person, in harmony with themselves, attracting and encouraging others to attain the same internal harmony. Communities built off of this could be shining examples to the world.
They cannot, however, be built by finding external problems that require other people to change. Some of the greatest sins in history have be perpetrated by leaders making this mistake. They must be built internally with each individual working to attain self harmony.
The Two Step Process
We present this two step process for creating harmony with others.
- Attain harmony with oneself.
- Live your life with joy and purpose and allow yourself to teach others primarily through the shining beacon of your own example.