You always put your family first…How true is it?


I was just going through my postal mail when I saw a mail coming from Canada.
I opened it and it had these lines “You always put your family first… and we want to help.”
It was about the government program for the Canadian citizens for the Universal Child Care Benefit, for Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, for Post-Secondary education and much more…!

Such a nice thought isn’t it that a country thinks so much about your kids and family and I am thinking what we do to make this family happy, healthy and flourishing?

The other day at lunch time one of my friend said, ‘we all say hello – hi by sitting in different rooms of one single house to each other – i.e. kids and parents’ and she said remember when we were kids how we used to have our family sitting together whether it’s near the dinner table or near the fire place, it used to have so much meaning and bonding that even when my parents are not there I still miss them and value their teaching and try to induce those in my kids. But what can I do…they are growing up here and it’s all about computers and internet.

It took me to my childhood days. Growing up in NDA always induced certain discipline element in us and hence there was no question as why we have to come to dining table to eat our dinner or snacks. It was understandable if you don’t reach to the breakfast table at 8.30 a.m. then no one has time to wait for you and everyone will finish their breakfast and move on with their daily routine. The person who used to come late will always feel that guilt as he or she has to sit alone on the dining table and eat the breakfast without having anyone to talk to. Those days it used to hurt but the best things that I remember even today is from those moments.
We used to have our evening tea time when my mom and dad used to come from work and I used to make tea for them and some snacks – either I make it by following the recipe from the magazine or the cookies that my mom used to bring from Canteen – either way it was a refreshing moment for my parents who come all the way from work tired driving and having a sip of tea along with those snacks they would look at us and ask what happened today at school? What made us happy and what was not so good according to us.
I was known to be a story teller as I have a way to describe each and every detail of that single day. I will even describe what our teacher was wearing and how my friend and myself were discussing about a topic on dad’s after reading a story from Reader’s digest – all this used to be shared there and in between I will see my brother fighting to get in his point and so forth. When we both kids are satisfied with our stories and we are done with our tea, I will see my mom sharing her office issues and concerns and dad as always giving solutions to it. I have always seen such sessions as family time which I see in today’s time we lack. Our kids are growing without knowing what family value is, they are thrown into stuff where parents think we are keeping them busy with all kinds of programs and extracurricular activities. The child though keeps hearing about family and family values through books or movies…but if we don’t implement them ourselves how are they going to even get to see a glimpse of it?
I have never seen my parents fighting though there will be instances where my mom may not agree with my dad on certain topics but they both had their justification to it and no one’s ego was crushed. That’s called understanding.

Today kids eat in their room or they may end up eating by watching TV or reading books…we are becoming more social on the internet though face book and twitter but in reality we are so far in same house but sitting in different rooms.

There was a time when families in India used to live in one room with 2-3 siblings and yet they all were able to live and have their privacy – today we have rooms for each member in the house and what’s the use we go in those rooms and sit and socialize and make visual friends. You add your friends up to 500 on face book and you feel good about it. In reality physically how many friends do you go to with whom you can chat and discuss things where in your friend can straight tell you on your face what you are doing is right or wrong or even consider thinking about certain things which is for your own goodness? If you ever happen to have such friends also people will break the friendship with such because they don’t like anyone to show them the mirror. But then how are we going to bring this change into our life, when we talk about the continuous change and collaboration and family concept?
MK Gandhi, said to see a change that you would like to bring in implement in you first…(not exactly in those words) but you need to change yourself first to see that change around you.
Sadly, social networks are making money and adding more and more applications to keep everyone busy only to see each individual is kept busy with activities whether it is on the net or on the programs such as swimming, soccer etc.

Companies will grow and mint money but the families won’t be there to live together. The mere concept of it is eradicating from our society and yet when someone tries to bring the change – how well this change is faced? How much are we thinking what’s good for our kids? Again, the note from the Canadian mail reminds me the words ‘You Always Put Your Family First…” Do we?
Can we help ourselves first and then seek help later if needed?

“Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future” ~ Gail Lumet Buckley


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