FREE! Yes, the best thing in life is FREE! Your family! The family that brings you into this world, nurtures and nourishes you, teaches you values which steer your life, stands you up on your feet and then supports you for the rest of your life. This family includes your parents, grandparents, wife and maybe children.
But there is a price we pay for sustaining this family and maintaining its strength; the price of sacrifice, hard work, time, thought and effort. It’s a price we all gladly pay. Every individual has to do her/his bit to ensure the family functions smoothly (I know ‘functions’ sounds a little crude word, but you get the idea, right?). True, there are bad times, but as we have to remember what William Shakespeare says – “This, too, shall pass!”
Today’s manic world demands a lot of our time. So much time that we spend a lot more time with friends, colleagues, work buddies, etc. than with our families. I had talked here about how we youngsters have started focussing more on materialistic things. Technology, elite goods, fast food, movies, trash TV programmes, etc. now take up a lot of our time which we otherwise could have spent with family. More time spent with work colleagues than with a significant other is one reason for the spurt in extra marital affairs. We’re gradually being pulled away from our roots and being plunged into the culture followed in the West, something we prided on avoiding earlier.
|File photo of my family some 2 decades ago|
Our relatives, I believe, don’t make a part of the core family. More often than not, our parents end up doing more than expected for them. Or maybe, we have to, on the insistence of our parents. I’ve heard lots of stories where doing for relatives has drained a family of effort and money, and when it was time to give back, the relatives have backed off, leaving families to fend for themselves. That is saddening. Also, we nowadays see more children abandoning their parents. It was theatrically depicted in movies like Baghban. These are not reflections of what parents have taught their children. Sometimes the children turn out to be rotten apples and there is little that can be done to fix it. That’s why I’ve not included children as part of the family that’s most cherished all lifelong. Conversely, it could also be due to parents not dedicating enough time to their children or setting a bad example; something the children follow.
The key lies in following what Harish Rajagopalachari of PwC says – “It helps to step back and introspect every once in a while.” He was talking about entrepreneurship, but this philosophy can be applied to real life also. We should pull away from useless temptations and focus on what really matters more. Family is the most important aspect here. So let us reduce talking on the cell phone, obsessively checking e-mails and BBMs, staying connected to the net 24x7, watching meaningless TV shows and spend time talking to our family members. Asking them how was the day, what are they up to, whether we can do some chores, etc. Take them to dinner more regularly, on a vacation, have dinner together on the dining table without the TV on, are some things. You already know so much more that you can do. This will also help us to break the shackles of the loneliness that might grip us as we keep spending time online. Connect more with real people, especially family, and watch your personal life improve considerably. Cheers!