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Today I stand in front of you through this Article with a surprising title creating curiosity in you to know about our household foes (enemies). Before I go further, I urge you to sit back relaxed and read. These enemies are not the outsiders or external, but they are our own – our own family members living with us under one roof. These are not the words of mine, but somebody has quoted as “For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.” Let me clarify here that the daughter-in-law only may not be responsible for discomforts of the household. A mother-in-law may be equally responsible as she frequently forgets that she was once a daughter-in-law of somebody. Similarly, the daughter-in-law should always remember that she is going to be a mother-in-law one day.
Human relationships and values of life change in a changing world. Nothing can be expected steady. In family matters, one common issue of ‘generation gap’ is found everywhere in all communities. Parents expect from their next generation that they should be as they are. Likewise, children also think that they should be allowed to do whatever they like. Khalil Gibran has advised to the parents in these words as “You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.” He further adds, “Life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.” These are the great thoughts of great people, but reality of the environment of households is quite different. Here below, I’ll put before you some dialogues, generally heard in the most of the families which show how the members of the family behave and interact with each other. They are as follows:
A loving mother warns the younger son or daughter in the words as “I won’t tolerate your attitude any longer, listen to your lies or defend you when you are wrong.” An elder sister scolds to the kids, “Are you not ashamed to speak like this to elders?” A notorious son insults to the elders in the words, “I don’t want to listen to your lecture!” A sister complains to a brother, “Oh! I never imagined this from you.” A wife irritates the feelings of a husband as “What sort of big work that you have that can’t wait for you!” A mother is annoyed and says, “What the world would speak about for bringing up a son like you!” A grand father shouts and says, “You have hung my head in shame.” A husband quarrels with a wife, “What do you think you are?” A parent warns the collegian girl or son, “I dislike your friend circle or your company.” A child feeling avoidance says to elders, “You have time for everyone but me!” A grandmother fires her own son, “You are a betrayer of relationships and family values.” A mother to a daughter or a son shouts crying in the extreme words as “I wonder how you were born to me!” An uncle says to any junior in the family as “To break every rule of the family and denial is your usual practice.” And somewhere, a wife threatens her husband, “I won’t keep my mouth shut to keep the family peace.”
I recall having read a poem of Alfred Lord Tennyson during my PG study days in early 1970s. Let me give you a quick extract of the said poem. The poet’s feelings are so deeply hurt with his daughter’s mate selection that he expresses his hatred in these words as “Come not, when I am dead / To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave.” In the last stanza of the poem, the words are as “Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of time / And I desire to rest / Pass on, weak heart, and leave me alone where I lie / Go by, go by.” My good Readers are advised to refer my previous Articles “No honor in Honor-killing!” and “Life Partner”, if missed, to co-relate it with the burning issue presented here in Alfred’s poem. The most of the communities throughout the world have to face such situations in their households on the issue of ‘marriage’ where sometimes parents become the enemies of their children or the children consider their parents their enemies with their differences of opinions or contrasts of the angles of seeing the life.
I have written somewhere in my previous Article that to rule a country and run a family are equally difficult. The key person of a household who may be either a male or a female is always fully capable to deal with all external affairs of the life successfully; but when the critical situation of internal family problems comes to him or her, they have either to fall on knees to surrender themselves or resist against the problem. Both the extremes are risky – the former makes the family discipline weaker and the latter results into the lifelong hatred of the person responsible for disharmony in family environment. Some middle way should be sort out to ease the situation and for that very purpose mutual understanding and preparedness of hearing each other are necessitated. Purity of intention and sincerity in action are surly to bring good results for the solution of any type of family problem.
Now let us have a look on some principal root causes of disharmony in a household. First of all, the elder people of the family should love all impartially and must set a good example of good manners and behaviors towards them. James A. Baldwin has said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Can any alcoholic father or mother prevent their children from going to the path of such a harmful habit in all aspects? One more thing is that the parents should not mistake to silence the children all the time, but allow them to express what they wish to say. Parents should not become heavy with loaded ego and they should be good attentive particularly towards kids by sparing some hours even from their busy schedules of work. All members should sit together at least a single time in a day, if possible, particularly at the dinner time. This habit is the best tool to bring all to nearness of one another. The culture of a household can be judged well on its dining table.
A true home has a function of making their children good, honest and obedient. Children are such plants which cannot be uprooted if the proper seeds are sown and proper nourishment is provided for a few years. Children should not be made handicapped by making their lives easy. Offering more services than they are entitled to have is the greatest drawback in raising up the children properly. Bette Davis has said, “If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibilities on their shoulders.” Just like filling an ocean into an earthen pot, I may say that the parents should teach limits to their children. They may be given all gustatory treats, but never any luxurious ones which may be too much expensive and beyond own economical capacity.
Summing up, I would like to say in brief that all the members of the family should try sincerely to create credibility among one another so that nobody may think that somebody in the household is his or her enemy. To make a home paradise is in the hands of particularly a mother who may be called as the queen of the kitchen. A funny slogan is such as “A Happy Mom equals a Happy Home.” A father is also like a king of his household which is just as a small scale kingdom. “As the ruler, so the subject” is well known to all. Love, Faith, Self-discipline and Responsibility are the key words to make a home happy or free.
Hope my above thoughts may help you to protect your home from attacks both within and without, without any doubt; and, have peace and harmony in your household.
Wish you a happy home, my good Readers.
Dtd.: 16th March, 2008