Aleph, Tau, & Yod

An Essay on Human Relationships


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And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone..." (Gen 2.18, NKJV)

You are not alone. You live out your life in the midst of other people.

How you relate to other people is one of the main factors that define "who you are."

This essay is designed to help you better understand the ways in which people relate to one another. Why? Because
understanding more about human relationships can help you better understand yourself.

Aleph, Tau, and Yod - have you met them?

In general (very VERY general) there are three ways that people relate to other people.

For ease of reference, let's give names to these "three ways."
We shall call them: Aleph, Tau, and Yod.

The names are just names. They have no deeper significance whatsoever.

Now then... let us
define Aleph, Tau, and Yod by using a sports team as an example...

Type "Aleph"

Type "Tau"

Type "Yod"

Aleph is a team player.

Aleph wants close relationships.

Aleph seeks to feel wanted and cherished by the other members of the team.
Tau is (or wants to be) the star of the team.

Tau wants to excel.

Tau wants fame, praise, notoriety, and respect.
Yod is (or wants to be) the team captain...

the boss...

the person who calls the plays and decides who gets to do what and when.

Stirred, not shaken

In real life there is no such thing as a pure Aleph person, or a pure Tau, or a pure Yod.

  • Without a mixture of all three character traits, a person wouldn't be a "well balanced" human being.
  • A person may have problems in relating to other people (or even in relating to reality) if any one of the three personality traits is EXCESSIVELY strong or weak in that person.
The next paragraphs will seek to identify the "symptoms" that may be evident when a person has too much, too little, or just the right amount of each trait.

The Aleph (team player) trait

JUST RIGHT - the person is affectionate, loyal, giving, self-sacrificing, warm.

TOO MUCH Aleph - the person is...

TOO LITTLE Aleph - the person is...

  • Overly dependent
  • Overly possessive; clingy; smothering
  • Overly cautious
  • Fearful of change
  • Fearful of taking risks
  • Prone to grossly overestimate the dependability of those relied upon
  • Prone to follow rules beyond reasonable limits; a tattler; a toady
  • Prone to believe total disaster is imminent when even one bad event happens
  • Prone to accept being mistreated as better than being excluded
  • Disloyal; a back-stabber
  • Prone to desert the team and its leaders when faced with challenge or controversy
  • A complainer
  • Always measuring the team's deficiencies, and broadcasting those deficiencies to others
  • A creator of unrest and dissatisfaction in the ranks

The Tau (star player) trait

JUST RIGHT - the person is persistent, hard working, filled with initiative, heroic when confronted with difficulty or danger.

TOO MUCH Tau - the person is...

TOO LITTLE Tau - the person is...

  • Selfish
  • Conceited
  • Insensitive
  • A braggart
  • A show-off
  • Prone to tilt with windmills just to prove a point or gain an imagined victory
  • Prone to practice one-upsmanship to ridiculous extremes
  • Prone to insist that loved ones function as his or her audience of admirers
  • Dead weight - doesn't carry his or her full load
  • Self-doubting
  • Prone to give up easily after losing the lead
  • Prone to blame tools, people, & circumstances for failures

The Yod (team captain) trait

JUST RIGHT - the person is fair, responsible, dependable, analytical, highly skilled at understanding and adjusting for the strengths and weaknesses of others.

TOO MUCH Yod - the person is...

TOO LITTLE Yod - the person is...

  • Vindictive
  • Controlling
  • Petty
  • Unethical
  • "Power crazy"
  • Prone to overorganize
  • Prone to develop rigid systems
  • Prone to feel that obeying his or her orders or procedures is more important than successful outcomes
  • Inflexible
  • Prone to be more concerned with price than with value
  • Prone to publicly belittle & criticize offenders
  • Suspicious & resentful of those who take initiative or recommend improvements
  • Prone to assume that a person's loyalty can be bought
  • Disorganized
  • Irresponsible
  • Unreliable
  • Prone to make choices based mainly on "feelings," without regard to facts
  • Often overwhelmed by deadlines and performance goals

Does the shoe fit?

Katz once said, "I used to have one fault -- I was too humble. But I got rid of that problem, so now I'm perfect."

Hey folks, Katz was only kidding (at least, I hope so).

I don't know about you, but reading about Aleph, Yod, and Tau made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I mean, some of their faults sounded just a little too much like a description of me.

How about you? Did any of the preceding paragraphs bring to mind some of your OWN imperfections when it comes to relating to other people? If so, welcome to the club!

Desperately seeking answers

For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Rom 7.15, NAS)

People who are reasonably honest with themselves are painfully aware that they are imperfect and fallible.

This is the very reason why "self-improvement" books are always such hot sellers.

People buy these books in droves, in a futile search for the miracle solution to their relationship problems. But they always find that getting cured of a relationship problem is a lot like digesting garlic. Every time you think it's gone,
BURP! -- there it is again.

The self-improvement book par excellence

Good news! There is one self-improvement book that truly DOES work!

Okay, you've already guessed what I'm going to say so I won't disappoint you. Yep, the self-improvement book par excellence is... (drum roll) -- the Bible!

Hey you! Get that frown off your face!
Stop rolling your eyes! I can tell from your expression that you are thinking, "Been there -- tried that -- but I STILL have problems."

I mean, open your mind and heart to the possibility that maybe -- just maybe -- there is
more help available from God and His Bible than you have ever grabbed hold of.

In other words, READ ON!

An even dozen

Okay... stand by while I attempt the impossible.

Namely, I'm going to try and boil down a goodly amount of the whole counsel of God into just
12 Facts that can help get you started on the road to better relationships.

Fact #1 - Jesus is the ONLY WAY for you to get what you seek -- namely, good relationships with people, and good relationships with God Himself (John 14.6).

  • If you have not already done so, turn your life over to Jesus Christ (Rom 10.9-10).
  • Having turned yourself over to Jesus, God Himself will take on the job of improving your character and relationships. This process is called "sanctification." (Rom 8.29, 2 Cor 5.17)
Fact #2 - The only practical way for you to help God "work faster" in getting your character flaws straightened out is to... "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5.18).

Fact #3 - People are sinners (Rom 3.23). ALL people.

  • With rare exceptions, people are always going to be more interested in themselves than in you.
  • Don't allow this fact to surprise you, or disappoint you, or sour you on life.

Fact #4 - The world is at enmity with God (1 John 2.16, Jam 4.4).

  • Life is NOT fair. Drill that fact into your head and accept it.
  • Don't allow this fact to surprise you, or disappoint you, or sour you on life.
  • Only God is truly and consistently fair.

Fact #5 - You deserve what you accept. Read this again and again.

  • You deserve what you accept!

Fact #6 - The person who truly loves you (READ 1 Corinthians 13) will...

  • Respect your human dignity.
  • Respect your right to say no.
  • Respect your right to have independent thoughts, hopes, emotions, and beliefs.

That is - if the person truly loves YOU.

Fact #7 - The person who rejects you because of your beliefs, humanity, or personal freedom has rejected YOU (the real you) long before this. Such a person...

  • Does NOT love you.
  • Is NOT your friend.
  • Does NOT belong in your life.
  • Will never give you anything that you can joyously present unto God.

Fact #8 - If you must surrender your beliefs, humanity, or personal freedom, in order to maintain a relationship with another person, that relationship is no more than a form of idolatry.

  • An abomination unto God.
  • A form of self-abuse.
  • Spiritual suicide.

In such a relationship, it is all but inevitable that you will not only lose the other person - you will lose yourself as well.

Fact #9 - You always have more power and courage and strength and resilience than you give yourself credit for. You CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philipp 4.13).

Fact #10 - You can always find someone or something to blame for hurting you, undermining your self-worth, turning you into an emotional basket case.

  • But the ways in which those betrayals and adversities change you are NOT in the hands of other people.
  • God is in control of who you are -- inside, where it really counts. Not life. Not circumstances. Not other people. God is -- and so are you, as you yield unto Him. Read Romans 8.28 again and again.

Fact #11 - Unless you forgive others their weaknesses, AND forgive yourself for your own weaknesses, you will self-destruct.

  • Let go of past victories and move on.
  • Let go of past failures and move on.

Fact #12

God counsels you...

  • "My child, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
  • Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
  • Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.
  • Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you.
  • Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.
  • Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil. (Pr 4.20-27, NKJV)
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
  • in all your ways acknowledge Him, & He shall direct your paths. (Prov 3.5-6, NKJV)

End of Essay - May you walk with God in peace and joy. Amen

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