019                                                                                                          08 February 2017


We are all here to live every situation you can imagine, good or bad; right or wrong; positive or negative. Why? So we can learn from the experience as part of the adventure of life.  Murray Kibblewhite

STORY – YEAR 26–Relationship or Marriage

Michael entered the lunchroom at the Institute he was a part-time Business Tutor to meet Alison, a young Chinese Administrator. The conversation moved from Michael’s complaint of why Chinese girl students’ don’t answer his questions in class to cultural differences in relationships.

Asked for his opinion Michael revealed his Relationship Hierarchy. “Imagine a pyramid with five levels,“ he explained drawing one on the white board. “Starting from the bottom the first layer is an attraction, where that magical chemistry draws you to someone.” Continuing he explained, “The second layer is bonding, where the pair discover they have similar interests, hobbies, and education.”“The reason for dating!” Alison interjected.

“Correct.” Michael replied, “And the third level is about Values, Beliefs, Political leanings, Social and Cultural requirements.” At this stage Manpreet, the Student Advisor from India arrived and was listening and nodding in agreement.

“At the fourth level,” Michael wrote on the diagram, “Is what I call, physical. This is when sex should enter the relationship!” Alison, a little confused asked. ”Why?” Michael and Manpreet nodded in agreement again as Michael explained, “Because, in my ideal relationship, holding off having sex until both parties are sure about each other, then naturally leads to the fifth level of love.” “Absolutely,” Manpreet agreed.

“In the Western world, where we have been greatly influenced by Hollywood movies, relationships are confused when a couple moves from level 1 straight to level 4 and the so-called “love” should be spelled as “lust,” Michael observed.

Manpreet, smiling, took over with the statement, “In India, there is nolevel1 as your partner is selected by your family in an arranged marriage.” Then he went on to describe his own marriage. After six months preparation, his mother showed him pictures and background details of thirty eligible girls. He chose five and went with his mother to meet them at their homes. One he selected to meet a second time and after that meeting they became engaged!

“So you have now been married eighteen months has it been the right decision?” Michael asked. Manpreet’s smile widened even further as he gave a double thumbs up saying,”Fabulous!”


Check out the complete story at


Learnings– The learning for Alison and Michael is that long-established practices, different to your own, still have their place in a modem society. Manpreet learns to trust the established practices of his culture, even when he is living in a different society.

All life’s experiences are opportunities to learn. The challenge is to decide, what are the real lessons to be learned?

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