Those days as a school boy we had two months summer holidays in primary and secondary school. Part of the holiday, we used to spend it in our parents home village of Neno or Lisungwi, Malawi.
For Lisungwi and that’s the side called Chena and not Changa (where my fathers village is), there were no buses going there so usually we were dropped on one of the weekends that papa would be off work within the holidays. But for Neno we almost all the time used to go there by bus. Those days the bus was only making the trip to Neno on Saturdays. If you missed it, meant waiting till the next week. This was also the case for the bus’ return journey from Neno which would be on the next day after arriving there.
What was fascinating on the bus trip was that there were distinctive stops that people who took the trip often would literally memorise in making sure they get their own stop correctly. Especially when buying own bus ticket, one needed to tell the conductor their exact stop as prices were different on each, increasing as the distance increased from the starting point. The most interesting part on the trips was the approach to your stop. One would make sure they were following the bus’ stops before their own so that they would be ready to warn the driver on approach to stop for them to alight.
Two tools were of most importance on such approach to ones stop; the bus stop bell and the upper handle railing for when you have stood up to get on to near the door near the front for the exit. Quite often the bell would fail so one had also to be prepared to shout on top of everyone’s voice to the driver warning him that their stop was approaching. For women the other duty was to make sure their chitenje (cloth wrapped around the waist and the head wrap) on them is secure as you never knew with all the noise when it would loosen and drop down. When the drive has stopped what remained was for you to say thank you to him and also to inform him whether he had to wait a bit as you have your suitcase or goods on top of the bus (carrier) to bring down. The key in all this is knowing your stop.
The quotes this week are from a book that in the eyes of many who have read it, has helped many millions of couples transform their relationship. It has helped men and women realise how different they and therefore how to communicate their needs in such a way to avoid any conflict thereby growing in their intimacy. I am sure you will learn one or two things from the quotations extracted from this book., read and enjoy:
MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS by John Gray
“At that moment I started to realise the real meaning of love – unconditional love. I had always thought of myself as a loving person. But she was right. I had been a fair-weather friend. As long as she was happy and nice, I loved back. But if she was unhappy or upset, I would feel blamed and then argue or distance myself. ——– That day, for the first time, I didn’t leave her. I stayed, and it felt great. I succeeded in giving to her when she really needed me. This felt like real love. Caring for another person. Trusting in our love. Being there at her hour of need. I marvelled at how easy it was for me to support her when I was shown the way. ——– How had I missed this? She just needed me to go over and hold her. Another woman would have known what Bonnie needed. But as a man, I didn’t know that touching, holding and listening were so important to her. By recognising these differences I began to learn a new way of relating to my wife. I would have never believed we could resolve conflict so easily.”
“Without the awareness that we are supposed to be different, men and women are at odds with each other. We usually become angry or frustrated with the opposite sex because we have forgotten this important truth. We expect the opposite sex to be more like ourselves. We desire them to ‘want what we want’ and ‘feel the way we feel’. ——– We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways – the ways we react and behave when we love someone. This attitude sets us up to be disappointed again and again and prevents us from taking the necessary time to communicate lovingly about our differences.”
“Men are motivated when they feel needed while women are motivated when they feel cherished. ………..how to overcome our greatest challenges, men need to overcome their resistance to giving love while women must overcome their resistance to receiving it.”