This week my wife Kristine was telling me how much she enjoyed the animated film Rio. It was a cute love story, but I was curious why she liked it so much since she is not greatly fond of children’s movies. Her response surprised me. “Because they were chained together.“ The two macaws, a female from the jungle and a pet from mini-soda, find themselves linked through all of the adventures with a chain placed on them by their captors. The chain forces them to coordinate walking, climbing and even flying. They are opposites in every way and only grow in friendship (and eventual love) through trial and effort in aiding each other in survival.
Many relationships occur in a similar fashion as the two birds in “Rio”. We are thrown together as co-workers, clients, or collaborators. Events can link us. Our very survival can depend on how we operate. The outcome is usually surprising. Is it the forced mutual sacrifice? Is it the fact that we have to slow down and think of someone else? I find that some of the best connections and the best friends have not been people I have chosen, but the ones I have found myself chained to for a period of time. And even if we choose relationships, as we do in a marriage, obligations, commitments, and even adversity can strengthen our friendship as we work to overcome them together.
On a similar topic, another post that might interest you is Accountability Partner or Trench Mate: Whatever you call them, you need them.