I have a confession to make. When I read about Michael Palmer's resignation yesterday, I felt a waft of self-indignation. I asked myself, almost knee-jerk, "how could he?" Then, almost immediately, I was reminded of what Confucius once said, which I paraphrase here, "When you see an upright man, emulate him. When you see a fallen man, examine your heart."
As I read more about michael, I begin to identify with him; that is, his follies, his foibles. I guess the only difference between michael and I is opportunity (not to mention his good looks). Because of his wide exposure, he was constantly tested. Even as a Christian, michael fell like many great biblical giants before him.
Alas, while the father yearns for the prodigal son to return for a banquet, politics and society sent him away with a postcard farewell. I guess the sore reality is that you are only as good as your last fall and nobody really remembers your best score.
One wise man asked, "Is the chain of marriage so heavy that it requires two, sometimes three, persons to carry it?" I have no doubt that michael loves his wife (an Oxford graduate who gave up her promising law career to take care of their son). So, love is not the issue here.
I think the greatest wrecker of marriage is not falling out of love. There's nothing ironic about that. The enemy of love is in fact routine. Routine is a silent killer. Like a rooftop sharpshooter, it waits patiently for the headshot and pulls the trigger when one least expects it.
Routine leads one to take what's important for granted. And this leads to neglect, even inadvertently. It is like sleepwalking off a cliff. When you have awakened, it is usually too late.
Routine is like an assassin who bid his time and waits for it's fellow accomplice, opportunity, to set the stage for the kill. Without time and opportunity, routine will fail miserably. Given the time and opportunity, it attains a perfect score.
So, from this unfortunate episode, I've learned to jealously guard my marriage. To treat it like a child, constantly requiring my attention and care. A counselor once said that a marriage is like building an edifice of your love on a daily basis. And when you are so consumed by this love monument, you would have no time for other distractions.
So, this is the ultimate consummation of love: To fall in love, over and over again, for a lifetime and with the same person. Cheers.