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Session 4: Relationships

Every eye in the room is glued to the little pink head. The baby can barely keep its eyes open, but it pokes out its tongue, time after time. The screaming of another child out of shot deters no-one: we’re all transfixed. The clip ends. It was at the start that the Dad, out of shot, had explained he would poke his tongue out at his child and observe the response. The baby was only an hour old. Facilitator Nigel now explains that we’re hardwired to respond to other people, even from such a young age, which is why the baby responded as it did.

As we move on, we’re set an exercise: work in a group of five so that we have a square each, all the same size. The one catch: we’re not allowed to communicate. I found this to be a generally enjoyable task: everybody in my own group moved their own pieces into the centre where we constructed them together. In no time at all, we were pulling them back towards us, all perfectly the same size. I noted that one person took charge from the start, and some people were more active than others, but we were all important to the task completion none the less. After the exercise, Nigel goes on to say that different people bring different things to each relationship. This was represented in the pieces, which were all different.

In addition, some pieces were much smaller than others, but this made them no less important than the larger pieces: all of the pieces were needed to complete the squares. This was also a physical reflection on how some of us in the groups had smaller roles than others, yet we were still all important. I reflected how ultimately, we probably need to be with people who aren’t the same as us: we need to be with people who bring something different. That’s how one and one make a whole, rather than two.

This was one of the most active weeks we’ve had, but in terms of the discussion, it felt a lot easier going than the previous week in which we discussed the topic of forgiveness. As with last week, the discussions continue to get more animated. I found this to be the most enjoyable session so far.