April 12, 2014

In Defense of Sweetness (No Sugar Added). ~ Nancy Rami

Sean McGrath/Flickr

Despite sugar being added to just about every imaginable food product, our personal relationships may be suffering from a serious lack of sweetness.

The dictionary defines sweet as having pleasant manners or being gentle.

But the human characteristic of sweetness, embodied best and most often by grandmothers, has a few more elements to its definition.

A sweet person is a humble person. They have no need for artificial appearances and pretensions, and recognize that even those who annoy us the most have something to teach us.

A sweet person is compassionate, and is willing to step into the discomfort to bring care, along with hot tea, to assuage afflictions and heal wounds.

A sweet person is splendid and willing to give without ulterior motives, just because they know we all need some nourishment, intestinal and spiritual.

And a sweet person is rare. Most of us find ourselves fixated on some kind of goal, and armed to the teeth with tools and weapons to attain it. What’s more, we are fixated on imagined ideas of ourselves, and seek ways to support this view while we avoid what may erode it.

Being sweet is also something that we do in relation to others, it’s an identity that emerges from an interaction, and not something we can strive to be if we our fixated on visions of our own success and ourselves.

Thus, as long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about the beauty and incredible power of being sweet.

So here’s an opportunity. Want to be the sweetest person you know? Find 6 tips below:

1. Never speak negatively of others. When it comes to ourselves we are good lawyers, when it comes to others we are good judges. Be neither. Moral judgments are subjective.

2. Give something when you want to receive. Just went for a strenuous hike with your loved one and you’re secretly wishing they’d offer a foot massage? Chances are they are wishing the same thing. Keep the needs of others in mind.

3. Disarm yourself. If we interact with other while erecting walls around ourselves, we will miss out on the suffering and the beauty of others. Stay open. Being in touch with both pain and joy is essential for meaningful interactions.

4. Invite someone over for tea. Warm liquids are always comforting. So is the thought of someone thinking of you and giving you a safe space to share what’s on your mind.

5. Surround yourself with beauty. Flowers, art, music, your favorite teapot. Bring into your space the things that bring beauty, appreciation, harmony, and joy to your life. You can even create an altar with the things that are sacred to you.

6. Make people feel special. Remember the things they like, the things they’ve shared with you, and pick up where you left off. Also, remind people self worth by letting them of their virtues, their good deeds, and potential to achieve their dreams.

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Apprentice Editor: Emily Bartran / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Sean McGrath/Flickr


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