Human relationships can be compared to a bonfire
For a bonfire, it is very important, from the very beginning, to place dry, high-quality firewood together and then kindle it.
Every person has the potential to build a good, lasting and mutually enriching relationship. We are often convinced of being capable in starting, quite easily, a relationship with any person.
But preparing and kindling the bonfire is just the beginning of the matter, even if we take into account the famous saying that anything well begun is already half done. Kindling a bonfire is only the first half of what is to be done. Since one will need to add good firewood continually, the bonfire will not go out, but have a giving warmth to all those who have gathered around it. Otherwise, this bright, warm or even burning fire will gradually get burned out… and, in time, those who have gathered around it will have nothing to do except, perhaps, grieve over the ashes of the bonfire.
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If people do not continually strain at keeping the fire of their relationship, but, on the contrary, have it burn out, then there will come a time when they will sit and mourn over the remains of their love which was once so ardent, burning and most promising.
Firewood is not to be only the pleasure or enjoyment constituting one of the elements in everyday relations. Even pleasure should be received and given properly: respectfully, gratefully, lovingly – without selfishness, self-interest, self-regard. Firewood, which strengthens human relations, is a capacity to live in a mature way through other feelings such as discontent, sadness, failures, etc., to live through them without hurting those who are dear.
Additionally, one should learn to face trials, dangers and challenges with dignity, trying to spare one’s beloved from pain and trouble. Instead of running away at the first opportunity, the most important thing is to be ready to remain with a person during hurtful times, where he or she experiences pain. All of these and many other things can be called the firewood which is to keep and increase the bonfire of human relations throughout the whole of life.
Pleasure in enjoyable experiences is only one of the constituents for a lasting and solid relationship; as the intuition and knowledge of life says, it is not at all the most important element of a good relationship. Since we need many more people who are ready to support us in our trials and troubles, who are ready to accept and understand our weaknesses and shortcomings, there needs to be more than those who are near us only in moments of delight and pleasure only to disappear at the first signals of diminishing enjoyment.