I have been staying away from home for more than 1.5 years now. Lately, thanks to my good fortunes, my uncle and aunt have moved to the same city and are staying very near to my place. So I go there for dinner and watch the channel in TV that is on at the time I reach there. Usually we have discussions around what’s happening around the world, and the topics related to whatever is being telecast on TV. Today there was a programme being telecast around a family with many members in it staying together. During the discussion regarding the show, my aunt mentioned that one of her friend stays with his family of 13 members in it in a single house. It is not that they are very wealthy and have a huge house. That are a middle class family with his wife, daughter, uncles, their wives, father, mother, brother, his wife, and their children stay together. She told me that whenever he brings home some gift for his daughter, he brings something for all the children in the house every time without fail. That have bought a new flat, but refuse to go to stay there as they enjoy staying with their family.
On my way back home, I was thinking what is it that keeps the family as large as his together for so many years. In India,there was a time when majorityof the families were joint families with many members in it. The number of such families now has been steadily declining and it is a rarity today to have so many people around in the house.
One of the points that struck me first was that in such complex lives that we lead today, it is of utmost importance to let it go. You have to have the ability to forgive and not just to forgive by saying”it’s OK”, but to really mean it by heart. Because with such a huge family, t us imperative that differences of opinions will definitely arise. So at those times, you have to just let it be. The other thing is that you have to respect the person for what he/she is. You have to give them their space.
One more thing which helps is spending time with your family. In one of his books, Robin Sharma has said “On your deathbed, you wouldn’t wish you had spent more hours in the office.” So true! The ability to put forward your point of view within the family is also very important.
I would like to end this one with a beautiful conversation from a book titled “The Agony and the Ecstasy”. The book is a biography of Michelangelo, a great painter, sculptor and artist. The conversation is between Michelangelo and his 90 year old father, Lodovico, who is very ill, so feeble that he needs to be supported by pillows to even sleep properly in bed. The father says,
“I wanted… to live… to be ninety.”
“And so you have.”
“…but it was hard. I have… worked…very minute…just to stay alive.”
“It’s as a work as any I know.”
“But now…I’m tired…”
“Rest. I’ll close the door.”
“…you will take care … of the boys… Giovansimone… Sigismondo?”
“Our family is all I have, father.”
“Then all is well. I have kept my family… together. We have prospered…gained back…the money….my father lost. My life…has not been lived….in vain.”
Don’t you think that’s all life is about ? About staying with your family and staying happy? About staying in the moment and enjoying each and every second spent with them? About looking at the photographs of the beautiful moments captured? About cherishing each and every, happy and sad moments? About diving into the nostalgia and living those wonderful moments of joy,sorrow, sadness and happiness yet again and living them once more in your mind?
Well, it is 22:10 on my mobile watch and it’s time to call home. So if you are also staying away from your family and reading this right now, just go and make a call to your loved ones right now!!