Cultivate honorable relationships. Those are three deep words, and a rather deep sentence when taken altogether like that.
In the article that inspired this goal, Adrienne Rich defined what she meant in this way:
“An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word ‘love’ — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.”
How on earth can I go about achieving such a lofty goal? Well, that’s what it meant to Adrienne, but maybe if I break it down in terms that mean something to me…
verb cul·ti·vate \ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt\
Simple Definition of cultivate
: to prepare and use (soil) for growing plants
: to grow and care for (plants)
: to grow or raise (something) under conditions that you can control
adjective hon·or·able \ˈä-nər-(ə-)bəl, ˈän-rə-\
Simple Definition of honorable
: deserving honor and respect
: having or showing honesty and good moral character
: fair and proper : not deserving blame or criticism
noun re·la·tion·ship \-shən-ˌship\
Simple Definition of relationship
: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people
: the way in which two or more people or things are connected
OK, I get it now… in other words: to grow or raise, under conditions that I can control, in a fair and proper manner, the way in which I am connected to people or things.
That sounds a lot less Smithsonian Institute Docent, and a lot more Pandora. My own personal network genome project! Like making and keeping great friends…
…maybe I’m doing this already.