Think of a relationship as a bank account, where you make deposits and have withdrawals. We can only withdraw to the extent that we have deposited. The problem with many of our relational bank accounts is that we have overdrawn them. And these can be easily fixed by making the proper deposits. Let us understand this on the eighth day of the Happiness Challenge.
In a bank account, we make deposits and we have withdrawals. But if the balance was not there in our account and we went to withdraw cash from the cashier with a cheque, he would have said, “Sir, there is nothing in your account.” In the same way in relationships, there are times when we need the other to do something that is not pleasing to him or her. Or there are times when we need to tell the other off, or even scold the person to correct his or her behavior—all this is a withdrawal. In order to be able to withdraw, we need to ensure that we have made sufficient deposits. All the help, service, and affection that we offer to others, is all a deposit. Don’t you think that very often we tend to start taking relationships for granted after some time, and forget to make the required deposits? Consider the following example.
One newly married husband and wife were taking a walk on the street when the husband swiftly pulled his wife to the side. She asked, “What is the matter?” He said, “Darling, there was a dirty puddle of water in front.” Five years later, they were again walking on the street. And the husband, upon seeing the puddle, said to his wife, “Be careful, don’t let your feet get wet, there is water ahead.” Another five years later, the husband and wife were walking. And upon seeing the dirty puddle, the husband scolded, “Are you blind? Can’t you see the water ahead? Move to the side.” Now, what had happened? He had taken his wife’s relationship for granted. He was forgetting that for that relationship to work, he has to keep making deposits of affection, support, love, service, and sacrifice. Who does not respond to these investments?
Consider this scenario — One man opened his main door in the morning and found that the neighboring dog was carrying his newspaper in the mouth and had brought it to him. He was touched by the dog’s service. He brought a biscuit from the kitchen and offered it to the dog. The next morning when he opened his main door, he found that the neighbor’s dog had brought eight newspapers from the entire neighborhood to his door. The dog had responded to the affection that this man had offered to it. Everybody responds to affection. That is the way people respond to the support and deposits we make for them.
Now, let us analyze the relationships with our near and dear ones. Are our bank accounts and relational deposit accounts with them overdrawn? Is that the reason for other’s abrasive behavior? When was the last time we complimented our wife or our husband for their looks? When was the last time we appreciated our family members?
Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –
Let us take this as our homework for the eighth day of the Happiness Challenge—to contemplate about the bank accounts of our relationships, and to ponder over how we can enhance the deposits we make in them to ensure that these relationships become more positive. And whenever the need arises to get something unpleasant or difficult done from the other, we are able to make the withdrawal, because, we have thoughtfully and understandingly made sufficient deposits.