By Nazarana Darvesh

Here are a few excellent pointers to what is creating so much disharmony and unhappiness in human relationships today…perhaps a Global Family Day to discuss vital issues to do with family life should also be celebrated, says the writer

JANUARY 1 is celebrated as Global Family Day.
As we head towards global revolution based on modern day “isms,” we no longer see intimate family bonds in our societies. The concept of family is fading amidst materialism, egomania, envy, grudge, suspicion, discontent, mistrust, competition and bitterness among relations which is become societal norm. There is an urgent need to save the family institution by replacing negative traits with positive ones such as hearty, selfless love, respect, sacrifice, adjustment and loyal concern towards each other in a family, so as to spread the fragrance of love in relations. As no worldly law can track and rectify these traits in man, divine affiliation becomes a must to achieve better and more rewarding goals.
Ego/envy/grudge/discontent/competitions can be defeated by firm and stable belief in something beyond self all the time and a God we have full trust in. Belief in something beyond mundane life ushers in satisfaction in one’s achievements as a rightful gift of God and be grateful for it. Suspicion/mistrust/bitterness can be casted away by positive influence of God consciousness and divine power. Materialism can be conquered by remembering death constantly and recalling that everything is to be left behind in this temporary world and finally, each one is accountable for this earthly life which will be judged not on worldly possessions but on one’s pious life and good deeds carried out here.

HERE, there is staunch urgency to reinforce and revive these basic ideals found in almost all creeds to completely change our homes and habitats for the better. Even an atheist can have insight into few questions like where do we come from, what is the purpose of our life and where we have to return, to get a right direction to save himself from moral degeneration which is making so many families and their members into bitter enemies.
The family provides a fertile ground for sound individuals. Individuals produced in a healthy family are productive for society at large. An unhappy person cannot be a contributing member for society due to low energy and loss of interest in life. A person disappointed with his family life will try to vent his anger on everyone else in the society. He cannot create a pleasing office atmosphere and will definitely bring negative effects on productivity. He will have arguments and quarrels wherever he goes and spread hatred and violence. A person with family disputes and tensions also tends to commit suicide and thus, end a life which could be beneficial to society with its talents and capabilities.

CHILDREN having family disputes give less attention to education and career, thus affecting the development of society. Surveys show that most criminals are products of unhealthy family atmosphere. People with family problems are also subject to addictions of alcohol and drugs and the effects of these are visible in society. Thus, family is the foundation on which the structure of society rests.
Family begins with husband and wife. A loyal, legal relationship is a must to begin a family. Marriage makes the knot of male and female bond strong as the couple is more committed to the relationship, since it provides economic, social and mental stability necessary for leading a happy and healthy life. All other illicit relations outside marriage can serve only temporary satisfaction, with no rights and commitment, ultimately leaving one lonely and hollow. Making a marriage simple and economical, relieves the freight of families who have to strive womb-to-tomb to arrange for a marriage. This also helps in timely marriage and eliminates vices erupting in society due to delayed marriages.
Selecting a right spouse is also essential, since spouse is the better half of your life and a builder of future generation, their support and encouragement. Giving priority only to working women for marriage so as to benefit from their income for lifetime in the form of new dowry system, is creating potential threat to our age-old family system, as home making and raising children are sidelined in favor of materialistic demands. It is also posing a threat to the marriage of girls from economically weaker section, or those who prefer home making instead of chasing a demanding career for independence from financial worries.
Spouses with common shared values and beliefs guarantee tranquility in their relationship. True mutual love, concern, trust, protection and security between partners and valuing each other’s contribution to the family, further adds to tranquility. Husband-wife relationships need to work on reconciliation mechanism, dividing areas of work to avoid weighing down one single individual, and providing support to each other during hard times. There should be concern by both wife and husband towards each one’s in-laws, breaking the stereotype that only women need to look after in-laws. Screening each other’s secrets and weaknesses and resolving husband-wife petty issues mutually and in time averts major disputes.
Once a couple turns into parents they should examine their parenting. Normally children are raised as future assets, which if not fulfilled leaves parents disappointed. The right outlook is raising the children as a responsibility and test for the parents so that they are raised, treated and educated responsibly fully aware that their accountability is for the gift of life given to them by God.
Effective parenting is essential for orienting children towards morality, humanity and discipline instead of inculcating materialistic perception. Self-modelling by parents, turning words of wisdom into action, has a strong effect on children. Children have to be trained for both loss and win situations. Freedom along with right coaching is must for bonding children with family as well as veiling them from societal vices with due consideration to their legitimate needs. Negative traits responsible for weak parent-children bond are humiliating children, discussing their weaknesses and secrets in front of others, comparing their incomes and turning home into competitive zone, overburdening children with extra demands and delay in marriages. Positive traits to be adopted by parents towards children include appreciating rightful achievements of children, condemning unfair or unjust conduct, discussing family matters within family circle and consulting each other for decision making and giving due rights in inheritance to both boys and girls.

TODAY girls are outshining boys in education, jobs as well as family life, whereas boys are completely detached from taking any financial or family responsibility. The need of the hour is to bestow special attention on boys’ upbringing to fortify their academic, economic and family liabilities calling out for “Beta Bachao, Beta Padao.”
Right parenting will undoubtedly develop loving bond between parents and children and in turn children will undertake their duties towards parents and other family members without any quibbles. There will be respect, gentleness, love and care in their approach towards parents leaving no room for old age homes, insult or humiliation for parents in their old age.
Family, as a whole, progresses on mutual adjustments by all. Keeping demands in control and spending wisely to manage family affairs excluding unwanted expenses, arranging only essential family functions with only affordable means and wealth shunning burden of loans, assures stress free family ambience, abolishing future radical effects. Satisfaction in lawful earnings even to small amount keep families together and allow to spend quality time together which is immensely important for cheerful, contented life. As the foundation of house is designed for earthquake resistance likewise a family too needs a strong foundation to resist hard times which can be achieved by strong faith in God, destiny, family bonds, mutual cooperation, morals and systematic discipline. Lifelong binding relations cannot be established on sharing costly gifts and celebrations but can serve as only temporary mechanisms of pleasure. Orienting one’s life by balancing relations, career, social work, in limited and justified manner, keeping a divine purpose in focus helps in maintaining a happy and balanced life! So think about all this while you are ushering the new year in with parties and celebrations!

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