The H.T.H.F. of Human Bonding.

Below is a letter from my grandmother, Alice Schmuker, on January 15, 2003. Alice is a wife (of over 60 years), mother of eight, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and amazing woman of God. The message is for all and in her exact words: “The H.T.H.F of Human Bonding” Human bonding starts at birth and evolves all our lives. There are many phases and elements involved, however four elements are essential; honesty, trust, humility, and forgiveness. Honesty (H) is rooted in the home. It is taught primarily by example and it is contagious. A child can weave a “whale of a tale” to cover some unacceptable behavior - it is viewed as cute. Then at school, manage to get away with something - considered clever. Morality (honesty and dishonesty) will stick for life. Some never mature beyond cute or clever, as their cover. Honesty, is very essential in dealing with others and within ourselves then responding to others. Trust (T) is like a cousin to honestly and it is earned. A child has blind trust, ex: when tossed up - trust to be caught. Then things evolve to who can be trusted. When we trust someone, they are elevated on our “scale” as a good person. When we are trusted by someone it is like getting a “badge” of friendship. There are many levels of trust from personal information to life saving measures. Firemen trust each other with their lives. We know people who emit trust by their very presence; ex. Doctors. Humility (H) is seldom faced or talked about, yet it governs how we view people around us. All jobs are important, all lives have worth. Everyone has talents and contributes to the family, community, and the bigger picture. To instill self esteem in others is actually a part of humility. Recognize people in your presence. The basis of humility is service to others. Sharing volunteering and all charity are steeped in humility. Conversation which begins with “I”, “Mine”, and use of “Me” rather than “We”, “You” and “They” often lack humility. We need to be more selfless rather than selfish. Forgiveness (F) is very big in relationships. People are weighed down by anger, guilt, misdeeds, unkindness, etc, the longer these weights are carried the heavier they become. There are two prongs in forgiveness, others and self. Being hard on ourselves for past goofs also needs forgiveness. Forgive is not forget! Forgetting can be impossible. Forgiveness is to let go of baggage. Release the burdon and this is best handled verbally. Apologize and mean it. Be sincere! So one might say - where does “Love” fit in? If all the the four elements (H.T.H.F.) are embraced positively, the results are; respect, appreciation, acceptance, and attraction. The word “Love” is so overused and abused in today's society. Romantic love is like fourth of july fireworks. We anticipate, wait for night to fall and the show to begin. Such an array of beauty and we hope another and another will follow - but finally no more, only ashe falls from the sky. So in human bonding - take in account H.T.H.F. elements occasionally and don't be blinded by the fireworks. There will be another fourth of July. Now add endurance! -Alice Schmuker, Age 84 years young