Maintenance Is The Most Important Element In Relationships – By Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane

Maintenance Is The Most Important Element In Relationships

By: Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane

Most of the houses I grew up admiring are not as admirable as they were before. Most of the tight friendships I had when I was young are loose now. Relatives I was close to are either nowhere near reach or we just no longer connect anymore. Even some of my performances in particular fields are rather declining than maintained and improving. To add on to that, at later stages of my life, there were skills I tapped into that I left hanging – without follow-ups, without nurturing and without maintenance. So, all of this brought me to the realization that anything commenced and built requires maintenance, and that includes relationships.

Some of the reasons why I would start or acquire something and end up not maintaining or keeping are not limited to: undermining what it would take to keep it, not being intentional about the end goal with the acquisition, not being equipped to maintain the acquired and not being aware that I had to work for the maintenance as well. More frequently than the meantime, I saw myself starting conversations I had no clue how to keep going, especially with people who were less talkative than I was. Other times I would buy an item that I would later not care for as much as I should. Oblivious to the fact that it was my responsibility to make sure that what I had stayed in good condition, I thought replacement was a way to go when things lost their fresh sense and appeal to me. More like a honeymoon phase in marriages, for it to last, I thought it was in the chances’ hands.

When I was in primary school, my late grandmother used to use Parables to teach us lessons. One of the unforgettable Parables that stood out for me is the parable about the monkey, which she titled: “Where Are My Corns?” Citing the story, she said that a monkey was collecting corn in a man’s farm. The monkey didn’t have a basket to put the corn in. So, as he was collecting, he was putting them under his armpits. Each time he put one in the armpit to go on to collect the next, the previously collected corn was falling to make room for the next one. At the end of his collection, he only went to his tree with four. Two in his palms, two in his armpits. But when he was counting during the collection, he was supposed to go home with 50. Why did he lose 46 corns during the collection? It is because he was working so much on accumulating, that he sidelined keeping. He was accumulating, yes, but he was losing them because he didn’t work on the systems of keeping them as he continued to collect more.

In my life, my other 46 corns are all the income streams I lost because I did not create systems to maintain them, and all the lost friendships because I did not reciprocate the love, care and energy – as means to maintain them. It has been in my adulthood that I had to begin being intentional about what I accumulate and how to maintain what I have accumulated. As much as it may be challenging to get something and someone, it is also challenging to keep them once you have them. With items, you only need to maintain them for as long as they serve you. With relationships, it will depend on the kind of relationship. Maintenance is a lifetime job in spousal, chaste and family relationships – and it is the most important element.


About the author:

Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane is one of the A! Hub Writers. He became an Activator in 2019, and through Activate! Change Drivers, he underwent educational training with Programmes such as SWITCH Entrepreneurship Programme, National Mentorship Movement with Printing SA and Citizen Journalism with The University of Witwatersrand (Wits). He is a Mental Health Awareness Advocate, and to spread mental health awareness, he published three books that have been accepted by Gauteng Department of Education as of 2023, namely: The Story of MrSir (Word For The Record), Expanding The World Of Nerds, and Views and Emotions (Poetry Journal of MrSir).

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