In Your Language

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Provoke Love


I'll start of with a story...

There was some drama at our house recently. We had an urgent need to work together as a family. There is 4 of us to split up all the work. It seemed like we had the task cinched from the beginning. But then we forgot to account for the team to have at least on defector, a child (usually).

For some reason, we never prepare ourselves for the occasion when teamwork doesn't happen. Most people are more willing to do less to achieve the same results as having the entire job on their own. What seems relatively painless for one person, is ridiculous for the other. {I'm assuming that you can relate.}

What comes to my mind is "Game Theory." But this is not the usual scenario. Usually, "Game Theory" is employed for opponents, not team members. All of the genius mathematicians, philosophers, statisticians (and the like) before me have come to the conclusion that doing something in good faith is the best move in a social situation. Most times than not, it will motivate (or ingratiate) the opposition to move in kind with a reciprocate gesture.

{Getting back to the story}

So, one child decided to team up and the other didn't. One provoked positivity and the other provoked negativity. It spurred me to think that many times we ought to do things not because we love what it is, but because we love the "asker." On my Facebook profile page, I have listed:
Or a corollary: sometimes we should do what we don't want to do based on how we feel about the person who is requesting it. 

It also reminds me of my post about hugging my son whether or not I "felt" lovey. {Update: I've had many more lovey dovey feelings since that post!} I keep wondering if the child regretted the decision to choose autonomy over warm and fuzzies (and ice-cream, shhhh!).

 Slight Tangent... Stay with me =)

One thing I'm particularly sensitive to is acknowledging and rewarding positive behavior. I pointed out to my son today that if he had told me that he finished brushing the dog like I asked, I would have praised him, given him a hug and told him he earned time playing Minecraft. He still earned his play time and did indeed play, but he forfeited his opportunity to get the full reward. 

But what impressed me after this conversation was that he took initiative on something that we've been working on for ages. It was a sign of his ability to be responsible and his ability to grow as a person. I'm puzzled at what provoked him to tackle that issue.  Nevertheless, I was downright proud of him.

Back to the main point...

Perhaps I'm learning that he doesn't want reward for the action, but for the decision to do something that he was previously resisting. I'm driven to wonder if it is valid for me to feel loved when he finally conceded. Cooperation, to me, speaks love. 

It's knowing someone is doing something they don't want to do, but they do it anyway because they value me that communicates love. So- in rewind, my son figured out another way to provoke love between us. I choose to dwell on the positive parts of today. I call that a victory! 

Thank you for reading #provokelove! The slot for the pennies is in the comment box. ^^


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