My dad was always saying that you could do one hundred good things and then doing just one bad one could wipe them all out in one go. If you did something wrong it would take many good acts to put it right. I remember some advice I read in an Italian woman's magazine to never let your partner see you with a face mask or such because no amount of sexy lingerie would ever wipe that memory from his mind. It 's the same with telling the truth, once someone has told you a lie or betrayed your trust it takes a while to rebuild confidence. I'm, sure we all agree that getting on with people is one of the most important skills we have to learn. Watching Supernanny or S.O:S Tata, as it is called in Italian, the nanny said that children have to be taught three things:- to eat properly, to sleep properly and to get on with other people. Some relations are easy, you can both be naturally fond of each other and always feel at ease in each others company and that's when friendship blossoms quickly.. Getting on with the neighbours, colleagues at work, other nationalities, all the people you come into contact with every day is a skill.
Yesterday I read a letter on a problem page in an English magazine from a reader who had introduced two of her friends to each other and was now dismayed to learn from Facebook that they were doing things without her. The advice given was to get off Facebook and ask them both out for a coffee with her, and that fidelity can only be expected from your partner, not friends. Some people are better making and keeping friend than others. Getting on with friends and relations makes life much more pleasant for everyone involved. Not to mention your life partner or permanent commitment or whatever you call them. It is very important .A long time ago I read a phrase that stuck in my mind and which I think is very true, it takes many small acts of kindness to build a relationship and many acts of neglect to destroy one.
I was reading about John Ruskin, William Morris and Sydney Cockerell, they all sort of knew each other at some time. Sydney Cockerell (1867 - 1967) was an English museum curator in Cambridge. This is what he wrote in his will:-
I declare friendship to be precious beyond all words. But it is like a plant that withers if it not be heedfully tended. It must be fostered by means of visits, of letters, of little services and attentions, and by constant thought, sympathy and kindness. I implore my children and grandchildren to remember this.
I expect he said it to them whenever he could about all their relationships.