25 years back, it was a happy joint family. All the family members with their children shared a bond of love, care, happiness and togetherness all the time. They played, eat and slept together. Had fun during summer holidays and were in touch with each other through regular post cards or letter writing. It was a picture perfect setting like any old Hindi family movie.
Now 25 years later all those family members are living separately. Their children have grown, some are college going and some are working and married. Their relationship and bondage with each other have become weak, meeting together is rare and get-togethers reduced to occasional family functions. Children are indifferent to their counterparts and communication is reduced to just ask welfare or say hello & bye! The feelings of selfishness, bitterness and jeliousy have a cascading effect on the youngsters too. Sometimes, the grudges between heads of two families get reflected on to their children who also do not see eye to eye. The whole gambit of ‘Picture Perfect family’ has disappeared in the din of fast paced life. No one has time and patience. Out of blue, a close knit family breaks up.
It is said that as the person grows, wisdom sets in but how come such happy relationship of oneness of yesteryears is forgotten and relations become sore. Even though there were no major issues of differences, no fight has taken place amongst any family members but still the strain of ‘All is not well’ loom large on their faces. An expectation rides over rational thinking- ‘Why me alone, why not they?’, ‘Why should I initiate, why not they?’, ‘If you call me I shall reciprocate’, ‘If you come to my house I shall come to yours’, ‘If your children talk to my children, they will talk to yours!’ Each one of us expects the other one to take the lead, initiate and talk. The roots of ‘give & take’ feelings have gone deep in to our heart and mind.
The dynamics of human relations are changing. There used to be a term ‘Thick friends’ earlier, now ask someone who their thick friend is? Do not be surprised if after a long pause and thought you may be told there is none! And this is not just confined to family relationship but covers all other relationships like friendship, lover’s relationship, employee- employer relationship, etc. The feeling of ‘why me why not he/she’ makes all the difference. The changing life style, stress and strains of daily life and distance of living apart can be some of the factors but the major factor contributing to such a change can be attributed to our own making.
Ego and expectations have eclipsed our mind. In order to build a healthy and fruitful relationship it is paramount to understand that in the larger interest of relationship individual’s ego and expectations are to be kept set aside. The problem is not with our expectations but with our insistence that things must and should work out the way we expect them to. It is imperative that in any relationship there has to be some kind of invisible sacrifice, a readiness to forego and forgive attitude, forgetting smaller inconveniences in order to make a space for others to stay in your heart. All said and done, when ever you feel hurt, insulted and ignored, think with open mind, analyze and ask yourselves ‘what wrong have I/We done’? Probably this may answer some of our own problems.