Human Relationships: Nature and Challenges
Summary: In the entire biosphere mankind observes most diverse range of
relationships. Relationships are intrinsic to human needs. Relationships are
governed by specific rules underlying particular relationships. On one hand
relationships are a human need and on the other hand relationships are liable to
abuse. Therefore for our emotional and physical well-being we need to wisely
manage our relationships.
We humans live through a variety of relationships. Vast range of relationships we
live through is unique to mankind. No other species needs or observes so many
different relationships and in such diverse ways. Diversity of relationships is
intrinsic to human nature. There are many other species known to live in groups
but do not have relationships differentiated into mother, father, daughter, sister,
brother, spouse, grandparents etc. For example lions are known to live in groups
but the only relationship lions recognize is male female relationship with the
dominant male lion having mating rights over females of the group irrespective of
Diversity of relationships is intrinsic to human nature, as can be seen in the most
primitive tribal societies as well as the most advanced human societies.
Relationships can be broadly divided into two groups i.e. congenital and acquired.
Congenital relationships may also be designated as inherited or historical
relationships being determined by birth. Acquired relationships can be further
divided into social relationships and friendships. Social relationships may be
determined by matrimonial relationship or place of residence, education and
work. Friendships are the relationships of our own choice generally determined
by companionship and mutual commitment. Friendship is more than meeting of
interest or acquaintance. It implies emotional bonding and mutual concern.
All relationships are dynamic in character. Dynamism is more in the case of social
relations and friendships. Scope and limits or nature and depth can profoundly
vary from time to time. Relationships may also be viewed as non-negotiated
unwritten contracts among people resting upon assurance of mutual help and
concern in case of some need. But relationships are neither a trade nor barter.
However all relationships are governed by some rules of relationship some of
which may even be recognized by law. Relationships of the kind recognized by law
may be called as legally determined relationships. If there is a mandatory legal
procedure prescribed for constitution of a legally determined relationship, then
the procedure must be complied with to constitute a legal and valid relationship.
What is common to all relationships is the rule that in any relationship, rules of
relationship prevail over individual interest. One such rule is that in a partnership
mutual interest prevails over individual interest. Companionship, love, respect
etc. help sustain a relationship. But what really matters is compliance with rule of
relationship whether by the sheer force of commitment or love or respect etc.
All relationships are liable to turn sour due to various reasons. One reason being
that people tend to comply with relationships because of emotional reasons and
ones emotional compulsions vanish or better sentimental alternatives become
available, the existing relationship turns sour. Other important reasons are
vagueness of assurance, promise or rule underlying any relationship; relationship
being an undefined contract. So parties to any relationship are uncertain as to
what to expect and what to deliver. Generally people don’t deal with their
relationships prudently and pragmatically.
Therefore, either people are exploited in the name of relationship or lose faith in
relationships. The end result is the psychological inability to establish appropriate
relationship or fear of relationships. Even this is not an acceptable situation
because need for relationships is an intrinsic need and one finds it difficult to lead
life all alone.
Solution to the situation lies in understanding role of our relations in our
emotional and physical existence, clearly understanding rules underlying different
relationships and honest compliance with the rules. We should live our
relationships prudently and pragmatically. Let our egocentricity or selfishness not
spoil our relationships. At the same time if somebody is abusing a relationship, an
exhaustive attempt should be made to make the abuser mend his ways but if the
abuser is found to be incorrigible after exhaustive efforts, then a decision to end
the particular relationship should be considered. Relationships should not be
victims of our temper tantrums or whims and fancies. We need our relations as
much as we need food, clothing and shelter, if not for material reasons, at least
for our emotional wellbeing.
Author: Dr Mahesh C. Jain is a practicing medical doctor has written the book
“Encounter of Science with Philosophy – A synthetic view”. The book begins with
first chapter devoted to scientifically valid concept of God and then explains
cosmic phenomena right from origin of nature and universe up to origin of life
and evolution of man. The book includes several chapters devoted to auxiliary
concepts and social sciences as corollaries to the concept of God. This is the only
book which deals with origin of nature and universe from null or Zero or nothing.
The book contains two chapters devoted to law and justice respectively.