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On Love and Happiness

Coen van Wyk

Posted on August 25, 2019 11:24

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It is sometimes confusing, for young people, to prepare themselves for marriage, for love, for the compromises that make up a life of sharing and partnership. And happy marriages are not made in heaven, they are the result of hard work.

The city of Verona has a deserved reputation as the city of romance. After all, Romeo and Juliet found each other here. And so a group of tourists visited the famous balcony, dropped coins in the wishing well, and were taken by their guide, a young Veronese journalist, to the cathedral.

The balcony where Juliet heard Romeo's serernade. Photo luxurycolumnist.com


In a side chapel, a wedding was under way, and the priest turned from the radiant couple to welcome the visitors because, he said: "Strangers may be angels visiting us. Please feel free to address the couple." One or two ventured good wishes. One was brave enough to remind the young couple that love, like bread, had to be made fresh daily. The priest frowned, the congregation whispered and the couple giggled.

The cathedral in Verona. Photo Ugo Franchini, Wikipedia


The priest asked the oldest of the group, a man a few years beyond retirement: "Sir, you seem to have experience in life. Do you have some words of wisdom to guide these children through their life together?" The gentleman swallowed drily, then nodded. "Never believe when people tell you that a happy marriage is made in heaven." The priest frowned again.

He continued: "A happy marriage is made by two people working hard at making each other happy. And the key is respect. There is a rule. Soon you will see faults in each other, things that you wish to change. Make it a point to be honest, to criticize, but also to show your respect. And for every thing you criticize about your partner you must tell him or her of three things you appreciate and admire. If you do that you will build up a healthy relationship. Show your partner that you respect him or her. And if love comes, you are twice blessed."

It is, I guess, human to seek some magic formula, some guaranteed pill. But all too often the secret is in ourselves.

Coen van Wyk

Posted on August 25, 2019 11:24

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