There are two real tests of the strength and quality of any relationship. The first comes under conditions of stress and strain. When all is fine, when the sun is shining, no deep-root relationship structure is required. Appearances seem sufficient, but when the storm breaks, appearances are thrown to the wind, and in the winds that blow then some of us lash out with an ugliness held deep within. We may wound - and wound deeply - the tender sensitive feelings of our spouses or children or others and thereby teach them to be defensive and guarded against such hurts in the future.
...The other test of the quality of relationship is found in the little things of every day, little courtesies, little acts of kindness, the give and take in little moments.
"Men best show their character in trifles, when they are not on their guard...It is in insignificant matters, and in the simplest habits, that we often see the boundless egotism which pays no regard to the feeling of others, and denies nothing to itself." (Arthur Schopenhauer.)
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