Life Notes: For the Love of Lycra
by Erin Rockett

In the last few years, the magical elastic fiber lycra has made its way from the polyester fashion perils of the 1970’s into the mainstream of daily clothing. Magic, indeed, because this wonderful invention, utilized in clothing, permits the wearer a freedom of movement and flexibility that was previously unknown. Imagine the possibilities … sailing through everyday routines unhindered by rigidity previously imposed by stiff denim or career attire. Too bad that coworkers, customers, friends and family members don’t come with the stretch fabric option … or is it?

If only our interactions with others had the amazing flexibility of this modern marvel fabric. Think of a workday unconsumed by stress, accompanied by fuss-free family evenings, or relationships with fewer arguments, more discussion. This ideal could slide closer to reality if people took on the accommodating qualities of that stretch fabric, our friend Lycra.

At this point in the essay, no doubt many readers are shaking their heads in dismay, emphatically stating that accommodation is not a solution, and that individuals must be true to themselves and their perspectives. Here again, the reader can learn another valuable lesson from our wonder fiber: it stretches, yet does not compromise the integrity of the original garment. Unless one is accommodating beyond the integrity of personal values, getting permanently bent out of shape should not be an issue. Valuable lessons are learned from considering the wishes and opinions of others. How often is interpersonal conflict the result of poor communication or misunderstanding? As with our friend lycra, there is always room for a little more and a little more information or thought has thwarted many an impasse.

So the next time you find yourself facing a prickly interpersonal situation, think of your closet and smile. Valuable life lessons hang disguised as your favorite pair of jeans or trousers.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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