Emma is 17 years old and wanted to write for Student Life as it appealed to her, as she sought a method of exercising & honing her written communication skills.
My personal experience with regards to relationships doesn’t really refer to the typical kind: those that are romantic; but rather those which are much more commonplace and conventional within our lives.
The ways in which I interact and associate with others; with my parents, animals, teachers, professionally, with those younger than me, those older than me, those in my community, those in my society, strangers, God – all replicate the intimacy of a romantic relationship to some degree and are all valued just as equally. I allow them to mould my identity and that is something I encourage. As quoted from singer Marina Diamandis, known professionally as ‘Marina And The Diamonds’; ‘through others, we become ourselves’.
It is these connections between humans that establish any kind of relationship, that don’t assume a rigid form but that alter.
As a humanist, I am of the view that the personal, emotive, sensitive, compassionate values that are characteristic of humankind shouldn’t be dismissed or perceived in a narrow-minded fashion. Instead they should be embraced as qualities that found relationships and that are nurtured by them. My relationship with music particularly reflects this; the lyrics I resonate with reinforce what makes me human, as they explore themes of identity, love, loss, dissatisfaction, desire and encourage me to reflect more deeply on these, to understand them, and how they constitute who I am.
I therefore believe that relationships should be founded on human qualities, on emotional value, on empathy, yes…on compatibility, but also on the principle that ‘opposites attract’. If you are only exposed to one particular version of something, a version identical to yourself and therefore familiar and comfortable, how are you supposed to learn and deepen your insight? Bad relationships exist alongside the good ones; you wouldn’t appreciate a good apple if you hadn’t tasted a bad one! Relationships function to do just that, to challenge normality, to open your mind, as mine was opened to new music through Marina’s lyrics. Most importantly, they serve to reinforce our own identities through exposure to others, making us feel genuine, authentic, rather than forcing us to ‘pick a personality for free/when you feel like nobody’.