A luxurious car or more time spent with family – what would you choose?
With so much emphasis on lifestyle, are we missing out on the classic Indian family life as it used to exist maybe a generation ago?
A very prominent trait that I have started to notice in my 3 and half year old of late is her obsession with the brand of car we have at home. Any time she notices the same car on the road, she gets really excited.
While this is something sweet and a toddler’s way of feeling connection and love for something she ‘has,’ there are some cases in which such talk, especially revolving around the materialistic things you own in life, can become almost like an obsession.
Are we giving up on family time?
With so much emphasis on lifestyle and aiming for the ‘good’ things in life, sadly, the one thing that we are missing out more and more is the classic Indian family value system, or the Indian family life as it used to exist maybe a generation ago.
As a kid, we barely had any so-called mentionable possessions, but that did not mean we were not happy. My parents made sure that they spent as much time as they could with us, without any distractions, just the four of us. And that was a lot of time, and a lot of fun.
If I look at myself today, and at my husband, sadly, I cannot say that we are doing the same with our kids. And if I may ask, are you doing so with your kids, or let me put it this way – are you really able to spend as much time with your kids as you would really want to?
A few weeks back, a neighbour was telling me about the new car they have booked. She was obviously elated, and why not, right? She was really proud that her husband was earning as much as he was and the happiness about the new car that was soon due was evident on her face.
When I asked her where he was, she said ‘’Arey unkey paas time kahaan hai. Aaj Singapore, kal Dubai, parso Hong Kong. Maheeney mein 8 din ek saath ghar pe dikh jaaye to bohot hai.’’
I didn’t ask her if she was really alright with it. Or if her young son, aged about 5, was fine with the long absence of his father. Maybe they are fine, or maybe, they, or at least she, is happy with the glamorous lifestyle her husband has created.
But if you ask me, at what cost are we really running after these materialistic possessions? Honestly, I have limited myself to spending only so much time at work, and spending the rest with my kids, doing things together, and creating memories.
I choose to spend more time being with my kids, than being a successful owner of branded things....
I have spoken about the same with my husband too, but that’s a different thing again. So for now, I will continue to go by my thoughts, and keep creating new memories.
And yes, I just finished reading the amazing autobiography of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, titled Common Grounds, and here is an excerpt from a discussion he had with one of his students when he was still in the academic profession.
At Sir Winston Churchill I overheard one student tell another, ‘’ My dad got a new job, so he just bought a Mercedes.’’ He was excited and proud and wanted to share his elation.
‘’Let’s have a chat about this,’’ I said. ‘’A nice new car sure feels great. But at the end of the day, remember that it’s just a car, a way to get from point A to point B.’’ Then I added: ‘’And sometimes a promotion like your father received comes with lifestyle sacrifices. He may have more responsibility, but he may also have more stress too. You might find your dad is going to be a little more worried about work. He might need to work harder and for longer hours. You get a nicer car in the driveway, but less time with your dad. There are always trade-offs in life. You just need to think fully about what’s truly worth dreaming about.’’
I loved it, so sharing it. Do read the book if you haven’t already.
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