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Get The Ring: How to Find & Keep the Right One for Life.
Lawrence Kelemen - Part 23



Here's one below the belt so to speak. Something that really gets in the way of relationships. A real distraction, and one that unfortunately we're almost all guilty of is, schedule. Scheduling ourselves so tightly that we have no time to create intimacy in our lives. It's not all our fault. We've been trained that productivity is the measure of success in life. How much money you make, how many papers you've written. And it takes a little bit of reprogramming to realize that that's ultimately not the measure of the man or the woman. The real measure of the human being is how much intimacy and respect they've created in their lives. How much of a connection to their significant others. And creating that sort of intimacy, that sort of respect takes time. These Orthodox Jews, they have a law that they follow, a marriage law, that minimally twice a week the couple has to spend some private time alone. Minimally. It's something that we could learn from their culture is that we cannot expect to have intimacy in our lives if we can't schedule our spouses into our daily routines. And let's not fool ourselves, if we don't schedule it, it's not going to happen.

Let me get this clear then. Are you suggesting that we throw out our computers, cut up our cell phones and withdraw from the world in order to focus on our spouses? Isn't that a bit extreme.

I'm not recommending that you get rid of your cell phone. The truth is that the cell phone is a very powerful way to remain connected. As long as you can control the cell phone and not let the cell phone control you. The rule that I give to my students is — If you can turn your cell phone off for a few hours a day, then you have a right to turn it on. But if you can't ever turn it off, if it's going to interrupt every conversation, then you can't turn it on. — The same is true by the Internet.

These Orthodox Jews observe Sabbath once a week. A twenty-five hour withdrawal from the world of physical creativity and technology. The Sabbath arrives punctually every Friday afternoon, leaves twenty-five hours later on Saturday night. And during this period Orthodox Jews do not use computer or telephone or any other technology like that. Rather, they focus on what's really important in life, on each other. So we could learn from them to… Friday afternoon shut down the computer. It's hard. It's not easy. There's always a little bit more work to do. There's always one more article to read. And it takes might, and we haven't been trained to be a mighty generation. We've been trained to be efficient and quick. But if you're not mighty then you can't fight back those forces which would come between you and the one that you love, and then you might end up missing out on intimacy. So we've got to learn to shut off the technology just like we learned to turn it on. To use it when it is appropriate and shut it off when it's not. We've got to learn to use food for the sake of connecting to others,



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