Economic Multipliers (77)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Understanding other people’s frames of reference is an economic multiplier for you if it helps you have a better life.


Happy people fascinate me: Note that this comment is not about wealth, things, intellect, status, a job, education, achievements or a lot of other things. It is about the ability to find quiet pleasure and enjoyment in the basic things that comprise a day.

Because happy people fascinate me, I am constantly on the lookout for people who have good relationships that support happiness (a better word for some people would be ‘contentment’ since a person can be ‘happy’ even though they may not be smiling all the time).

The United States (at a time when women’s lib was taking hold) is my ‘frame of reference.’ As a result, I had always believed that ‘arranged’ marriages would rarely be ‘happy’ marriages: I thought that ‘arranged’ meant leaving out ‘choice’ and in some cultures or communities it might.

But I was recently fascinated by a movie I saw entitled: ‘Arranged’ (2007, 2008) which featured two young women who taught in the New York School District who became friends (one was Muslim and one was Jewish). Both families helped ‘arrange’ their children’s happy marriages.

Even though the movie was fictional, I could see how ‘arranged’ marriages could end up being ‘happy’ marriages.

But since I don’t believe in ‘fairy tales,’ these are the things in the movie that I saw that made everything work:

    • The parents of all of the ‘kids’ had happy marriages themselves.

    • The parents wanted their children to do well (AND be happy) and listened to them as they were helping them make good choices.

    • The ‘kids’ had opportunities in non-threatening situations to meet possible marriage prospects.

    • Everyone was well educated and had adequate financial resources and good prospects for future jobs.

    • The ‘kids’ who got married were what the world would call ‘pretty people:’ Actors and actresses usually are of course and for good or bad, ‘pretty people’ tend to have more dating prospects.

    • Everyone who was in or ended up in a relationship seemed to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.

Real life is MUCH messier than ‘fairy tales.’ That’s why, if you watch a movie like this, you should evaluate the frames of reference of everyone involved: Those frames of reference ‘evolve’ from the understandings that the writers and producers have of any type of situation.

In any culture, whether relationships are ‘arranged’ or not, it is much easier to find happiness in ‘optimal’ situations. And certain types of people are more likely to be happy no matter what comes their way.

I thought first about writing that happy, healthy, supportive relationships (and marriages) are an economic multiplier for all who are involved. But then I would have had to first explain that good marriages and good relationships are about the OTHER person: If you don’t want the OTHER person to be happy and healthy and do well in their life in ways that are meaningful to them, then you’re not looking for a supportive relationship … and there’s never any value in that.

I wish I could but I can’t even say today that I’d make a good spouse: I’ve never been married and experiences that you have in life can change many things and even make you ‘hypersensitive’ to things that you shouldn’t normally pay attention to. A ‘plan’ in my 20’s to get solidly established careerwise by the time I was 26 and get married and start having kids by the time I was 32 changed.

I’ve had the opportunity to do many things that wouldn’t have been possible if I had gotten married and had kids. I missed many opportunities and experiences that I would have had within a relationship.

I’ve never believed that it’s possible to ‘do it all’ (UNLESS you have a LOT of supportive people around you … and then you’re not really doing it all but it seems like it): You pick and choose based on the best available data.

If you’re really ‘lucky,’ you find a way to find ‘enjoyment’ and ‘contentment’ within the life you’re living as you continually pursue the life that you want: Sometimes those lives are the same thing but even the best lives and relationships require ‘maintenance.’


P.S. MANY, MANY amazing and enlightening articles and books on good relationships are available: I have read very few but since a couple that has been married over 30 years wrote one, I would recommend reading and working on (a couple pages at a time): ‘Lifelong Love’ by Peter & Phyllis (Koch)-Shera (2012). If BOTH of you want a good relationship, it’s a book worth reading again and again ...

Two things (for me, if I got it right) stood out in the book:

    • If you want a good relationship with another person, you must define yourself as a ‘couple’ first and work on being positive and supportive within that relationship, and

    • The louder someone yells in the midst of conflict, the greater the commitment they might have to making that relationship work (if they are a ‘yeller’). Don’t misinterpret this statement: This kind of yelling isn’t ‘designed’ for abuse (although I’m sure that it would certainly seem abusive) but probably occurs because someone has no idea how to get their voice ‘heard.’ The authors note that ‘biting’ words are many times part of the yelling even when the person may desire a good relationship. Keep in mind always that the DESIRE for a good relationship by BOTH individuals must exist … and an individual who has already done damage can never take back their words. Likewise, if you’re a ‘yeller,’ you’d probably have to make a commitment to giving up yelling (or at least build yourself a soundproof room!).