My first checking account (at age 14) came with a check register. Before the age of electronically tracked debit-card transactions, the owner of a checking account used this device to keep track of the funds they had available to spend. It was fun at first, making each entry and bringing the balance forward. The “fun” soon wore off, as did consistent practice.
My first bank statement came with detailed instructions on how to reconcile my account. Put simply: compare what you believe to be true (my register) with what the bank believed (the statement). This reconciliation gave me insight into the true state of my checking account. As long as my belief and the bank’s belief could be reconciled, things were fine; if this wasn’t possible, trouble would certainly result. Reconciliation was essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with the bank.
I now believe that reconciliation is essential to success in all aspects of life. Let me repeat that: reconciliation is essential to success in ALL aspects of life. Reconciliation exposes one person’s belief to another, giving each of them opportunity to gain understanding. When we are reproved by another person, reconciliation corrects unhealthy behaviors and heals relationships. After hearing of a new idea or approach, reconciliation produces new results which can be evaluated.
Reconciliation does not necessarily mean full acceptance of other beliefs, but does result in understanding of discrepancies. When my recollection of an event differs from another’s, reconciliation is understanding and accepting the discrepancies. It includes understanding of how those discrepancies affect communication, behavior and our relationship.
Once, while riding my motorcycle to work, as I was taking a right-hand turn into a parking lot, a taxi cab came from behind and struck me while attempting to pass me on the right. The cab stopped, and the driver immediately apologized but stated that it wasn’t his fault. I was able to quickly reconcile our beliefs about what happened. Noting the discrepancy and how it would impact our relationship, I politely chose not to engage in discussion and instead waited for the police to arrive.
I often find my belief about life, specifically my life, exposed to what other people believe to be true. These are opportunities for reconciliation, or if you like, self-evaluation. At the least this practice allows me to accept the differences between us and work within the limitations. Even better is when it results in unity — adjusting our beliefs to be one and the same. I find that the quality of each aspect of my life is directly related to the practice of reconciliation. You may find this true for yourself.