“Self do it! SELF do it!” protested 3 year-old Michael as he climbed up the cabinet to get a treat. Mom recognized her challenge in this moment — keeping her son safe while strengthening his spirit of initiative and autonomy. No easy task!
Michael’s brother retold this endearing family tale as the core message in his best-man toast this past weekend. Younger by a year, and himself single, Andrew offered wise counsel for his elder brother and new sister-in-law, Rebecca.
Although addressing the bride and groom, everyone at the wedding banquet was taken by Andrew’s timeless wisdom. Praising his highly accomplished sibling for much Michael has achieved on his own, Andrew reminded his brother of “The power of Two.”
Yes, “self” can do much. Indeed, self should do much. But there is only so much any one of us can do alone. We are inherently limited as individuals. We need each other. We must rely on each other. We are better off together.
We too easily mouth such words and pretend to know their truth. But as Andrew reminded everyone in that moment, our stubborn independence runs deep. Though a strong autonomous self is a necessary stage of emotional development, it does not signal the culmination of personal maturity. Far from it.
Andrew nailed it! When two truly become one, we discover a power that is not simply arithmetic but exponential. Such is “The power of Two!” Not only is this the gift of marriage, it is the universal and timeless truth of Love.