Interrogating the four dimensions of healthy relationships
The 4 Dimensions of Healthy Relationships is a book on motivation and self-help and a perfect example of a sermon to book publishing.
Written by an expert in rural development, Dr. Lawrence Olajide-Taiwo, the book is a paperback of 142 pages, 10 chapters, three parts, a foreword, a prologue and an epilogue. It has a bibliography of three pages and acknowledgements of three pages as well. It is a publication of The Global Centre for Healthy Relationships.
It was first published in October, 2013 at Ibadan, Nigeria, as a book on Christian living, whose first foreword was given by the General Overseer of Save and Serve World Outreach Ministry, Ibadan, Bishop Jide Orore.
In his contribution, Bishop Orire gave the example of warped relationships: “Suddenly, the unexpected manifested its unusual head inside Bouazid, a city south of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia on December 17, 2010, as 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi, who had been the sole earner of the extended family of eight by selling vegetables doused himself with some flammable liquid and set himself on fire.
“He did this after police confiscated his cart and vegetable produce. It was reported that he killed himself in front of the government office that would not return his goods to him despite the fact that he even paid seven dollars normal fine. This was the singular act that started the Arab Spring.”
The Arab Spring is the civil revolution that engulfed the Arab nations of Tunisia, ousted Muammar Gaddafi of Libya in 2011; ignited civil war in Syria; ousted President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt in 2013, ousted President Abdelazeez Bouteflika of Algeria this year and caused a military coup in Sudan in April this year also.
According to Orire, it is reasonable to conclude that Mohammed set himself ablaze as a result of an unhealthy relationship between him and the government. When there is an unhealthy relationship, there will be no peace.
Unhealthy relationships lead to war. God created Man to enjoy a healthy relationship with him. But man lost dominion over the earth the day the devil ruptured the good relationship between him and God through his eating of the forbidden fruit.
The prelate links the message of this book to twin messages of the Bible: love the Lord thy God with all your heart- creating a healthy relationship with your creator; and love your neighbour as thyself; therefrom living a fulfilled life of peace and harmony in your community. This exactly what Taiwo is seeking to impart to the reader in this book.
This book will enable you love God and your fellowmen at the same time. Taiwo enumerates this as the pathway to the life of fulfillment and prosperity.
In its prologue, Taiwo espouses good relationships like good neighbourliness as the life of abundance we are all aspiring to.
In each of the three parts of this book, various topics were discussed. Part one covers the four dimensions of relationships, namely the supernatural dimension, the self-dimension; the somebody dimension and the something else dimension. These dimensions interlock in relationships in which man will be able to fulfill his personal life mission in peace and contentment.
Human happiness cannot be guaranteed when an individual does not know how to create and maintain healthy relationships among his fellowmen.
Part two, which comprises three chapters, deals with creating the building blocks of healthy relationships in terms of effective communication, conflict resolution; creating the nerves of healthy relationships such as love, trust, integrity, humility and the team spirit.
Finally, the last part comprises of two chapters which focus on the issues of life and its application of good neighborliness to achieve harmonious relationships between peoples and nations. Since no one can succeed alone, self made as they say, citizens have to cultivate the four dimensions of healthy living in order to be able to achieve success in life. Everyone has his own destiny, his specific life mission: meaning his uniqueness is not replaceable nor can he be reproduced.
Thus, man is created to achieve his destiny by teamwork as a team player. The more he learns to be a team player, the better and faster he will be able to achieve his purpose. So, you have to learn to maintain harmonious relationships so as to achieve your life purpose and leave your footprints on the sands of time.
These lessons and many more are contained in this sermon to book volume. Applying the lessons of this book will assist you to unlock your potentials in the four dimensions of healthy relationships in life. Internalising these lessons is essential for you in order for you to experience a sustainable and triumphant success in life.
For the benefit of those who may never have access to this book, I wish to delve further into the concept of self-dimension as the only dimension within your personal control.
The supernatural is divine and from God, the somebody dimension relates to other people: your friends, coworkers and neighbours; people outside your control. Something is an inanimate object as meetings, festivals and funerals. Only the self you can control.
Which is why a personal failing to conquer becomes your albatross. Therefore, the greatest deceit is self-deceit.
A core human quality is accessibility. It makes it easy to meet and reach you. With it, you will have greater access to information, as information will freely be given you because of your openness to others. You use this information to fortify yourself. But if you are aloof, conceited and not friendly with many. You can easily be isolated and deprived of information including even that which will protect you from danger.
In summary, the principle of self- dimension involves building the core values of humility, integrity and gregariousness. That means being honest with yourself and eschewing conceit, aloofness and pride. You must thus forge a positive worldview, positive thinking and proactive action.
The author, Olajide-Taiwo was educated at the University of Ibadan leaving with B.Sc in Agriculture, M.Sc in Agricultural Extension and a doctorate in Rural Development.
As a senior Research Fellow, National Horticultural Research Institute, HIHORT, Ibadan, he chaired Academic Staff Union of NIHORT and was a former secretary general of Horticultural Society of Nigeria.
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