I'm currently attending the American Montessori Society conference in New Orleans, and one of the keynote speakers got me thinking about my marriage.
Riane Eisler is a Holocaust survivor and a cultural historian. She has studied innumerable societies in a quest to figure out how to create a more peaceful world. She realized that our normal categories don't encapsulate the entirety of the world: East v. West, socialism v. capitalism, etc. Instead, she realized that all societies can be classified in one of two ways: societies built on domination or societies built on partnership.
In order for real peace to occur, we have to move toward the partnership model. We have to foster mutual respect, cooperation, and caring. And we have to move toward a partnership model in all aspects of society: in our homes, in our schools, in our workplaces, in our government--the list goes on.
Her speech reminded me that peace starts at home. Matt and I can begin to change the world from the comfort of our couch. We can cultivate a marriage that is built on partnership rather than domination.
In order to do this, Matt and I must continue to find ways to be more patient with each other, to find win-win solutions to our disagreements, to not take out our stress or our fatigue on each other just because we're so comfortable with each other.
How we treat our spouses and our children and our parents and our siblings should reflect how we want our neighbors to treat each other and our political leaders to treat other nations.
In other words, peace starts at home.