It sounds quaint, almost Shakespearean, this paraphrase from the Bible; “now abideth faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).”
Does a lack of love disrupt our progress toward success or full self-actualization? Must we have love to fully succeed? Whether giving love or receiving love, love is a powerful reference. In fact, love is the best reference. To be loved imputes worth. Here’s a story…
A love reference at the office
For starters, the woman was totally unaware. Totally unaware when she bustled into a room that other conversations and relationships were in progress. Devoid of intuition regarding the body language of others; the expression of excuse me, I need to pass conveyed by gentle touch to the shoulder or elbow in lieu of interrupting; she startled and showed mild offence when her coworkers spoke in a decibel loud enough to be heard by her dull ears. Fact is, she was virtually un-interruptible when deep in conversation. She had favorite subjects, lifelong interests. She was so passionate about those topics, she could talk on for hours without pause or any concern for other business that was transacted or might need to be transacted around her. If that wasn’t irritation enough to an intuitive others-sensitive soul, the woman couldn’t give straight and concise information. Just let someone ask a question and the woman would wind up and deliver the answer to the question she had hoped to hear or thought she heard. Yes, she had her own agenda and it was very important business.
All these attributes grated on her coworkers. Needless to say, it did not help on the occasions she mistakenly picked up the wrong purse, gloves, or hat of an officemate and headed home at closing time leaving the more attentive persons miffed, unmuffed or stranded.
Then one day her man stopped by the office to trade keys or cars or something mundane from the everyday lives of married people. The younger, unmarried career folks were curious. What would this husband be like? This male portion of a marriage that had survived more than a couple decades. Was he crazy from living with a wife the coworkers found difficult?
No. He was not crazy.
He was respectful. He was not embarrassed. He did not put her down or try to manage her or keep her on track. Beyond that, with just a few well-spoken sentences, he let the office workers know he appreciated and admired her for her hard work over the years. He genuinely adored her. His loyalty was equal that of Sancho Panza singing, “I like her. I really like her.”
And then a rather remarkable thing happened. His opinion of her increased her value to those who worked with her. They saw her from a new perspective. Worthy. Valuable over the long haul.
Never underestimate the power of a good reference. Never underestimate the value of genuine love and like. Perhaps that is why we all unceasingly desire and pursue a good love relationship. Not because we aren’t strong or brave or intelligent enough to do it on our own. Not because we are dependent on a man or a woman. But because we all need worth. A love reference gives us worth.