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Monday, August 04, 2008

Mind Speaks

I had a very interesting debate on parenting with a family friend of ours who visited us last night. Though the debate digressed into different tangents during the course of the debate, it brought out a lot of insights into the value system that each of us have & how they differ from person to person, family to family & even culture to culture.

The primary discussion started of with how we can raise our children as ‘good’. The first tangent was in terms of the differences in understanding of what it means to be good. The definition of good was different based on each of ours’ perception. While I stood the ground that good means being a ‘good human being who is complacent with what he/she is and who is empathetic to his environment consisting of their near & dear ones and being sensitive to the larger human population’ – (Phew! That is a large definition). Whereas the definition of ‘good’ for the other person was - ‘being financially sound and having unlimited access and capability to own most of the commonly nice things in the materialistic world’. The best part of the discussion-turned-debate was that we did not really define what our own understanding of good is – and went on putting forward points in to each of our argument.

We are a working couple, both of us being in the highly demanding IT world. It easily takes away at least 12 hours of your everyday time in some way or other. And I strongly feel that to raise a kid giving him/her the best, the family need to come to an understanding that one of them should go on the fast pedal while the other should do an easy sail so that it achieves the dual objectives…

1. ‘Quality time’ can be spent with the child
2. Backup in case of difficult work situations (e.g. you getting fired from work!)

Our friends who, after marriage, one of them decided to chose to be a house wife feels that it was a biggest mistake that they did. Because they felt ‘everything’ was in the reach for working couples but their way was more of compromises because they felt that they did not have the ‘reach’ that money can bring in & was a staunch believer that both husband & wife should step on the gas pedal & the environment would take care of the rest.

A fundamental assumption at this juncture for our friend’s argument is that a support ecosystem exists to support the endeavors of the family – which is partially true in most of the cases, but not ours!

And this led to the discussion on what is priority for each of us – Money (which can be quantified) or Quality of family life (tough to be quantified because they are subjective). During the discussion, somebody mentioned that I am making an assumption that one of the parent having decided to go slow on the career doesn’t mean they will spend quality time with children if they are not motivated to do so. That was a point that I totally overlooked. I was under the impression that the best thing that any parents would like to do would be to spend time with their children & they don’t really need a motivation factor to spend time with children. (Not an understatement because I am doing that currently & I just love that)

A raw awakening in our lives… Mind speaks…

The debate went on for some more time until one of us decided to raise the peace flag, raise a toast for the enriching debate & then decided to have our dinner…

The point that I want to make here is that mind is complex. When you start speaking your mind, you make a lot of unhappy people around you, but you will start finding inner peace.

And I am not surprised that even after centuries, we still fight on race & religion, we still have reservations, we still justify a murderer, we still talk about the human rights of a rapist, we still talk about the laws preventing voluntary death…

Yeah… The mind is complex…

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