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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
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Marriage is not only a social custom but a culture also. Most of the human societies, all over the world, agree unanimously that the persons reaching the matured age must marry. This ‘must’ is very tuff to be fulfilled as the mate selection is a very difficult task in the life of a person. Socrates has said, “My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you will be happy; if not, you’ll become a Philosopher.” This quote is subjective and satiric also as the credit to make Socrates a Philosopher goes to his former wife who was most probably quarrelsome; but the latter, named Xanthippe, was a noble lady. Any way, the youngsters, both male and female, have the equal right to select an ideal spouse for him/her and anyone of them need not be a Philosopher!
Marriage is one of the most important relationships in human life. Moreover, it is also important who arranges the marriage whether person itself or someone else like parents or friends. Marriage may be either self decided or externally supported; but before getting married, both the persons should know each other very well. Marriage is a very sensitive and serious issue. It is a bond between two persons loving each other. These are two persons who decide to become one, unite with their love, start a family together and spend the rest of their lives with each other. Marriage is a commitment and it has also a great impact on life, career and personality of both the persons.
Now before we proceed further, let us discuss the role of parents into the process of the marriage in brief. Here, a question may arise whether the parents should decide the marriage or it may be left to their offspring. Most of the people will go positive in favor of the parents with their genuine arguments that they are more experienced and well-established in the society. They understand the people and also their children better. Being the parents, they always wish the best of their children. There is no risk to rely on goodwill and wisdom of the parents. Being matured in dealing with social affairs, they will not make a hurried and emotional decision (as found in Love Marriages) which might become a cause of regret in future.
To make a married life successful, both husband and wife have to learn to accept each other’s faults and differences. Any of them should not try to bring the other in one’s own mould. To marry is easy, but to maintain the marriage is difficult. Relationship between husband and wife is very delicate. Marriage is such as we may bring the horse to water, but we cannot force the horse to drink it. Marriage may join two strangers together, but ‘to make a married life healthy, growing and lasting’ is purely and jointly dependent on understanding of both husband and wife.
Psychologists & Sociologists have developed several theories which deal with mate selection. These theories mainly suggest the factors that govern an individual’s choice for a mate, consciously or unconsciously. There may be a great number of theories for a mate selection, but some are common and popular in the various societies. They are as follows:
(1) The most of the individuals give priority to such a spouse who may be of one’s own religion and caste (particularly in oriental countries) and never go out of their circle either by their own will or parents’ insistence. Here the social and economical status of the spouse is also taken into consideration. In their view, any imbalances in the moderate criteria become the causes of the failure of the marriage and; suppose that if it does not end into the separation, it is surely to pass through dissatisfactions of both; and they might have to face many problems in future, particularly in bringing up their offspring lovingly and properly.
(2) This theory is quite contradictory to the first. Here, no emphasis is given to the caste, creed or religion of the person. The individual selects a mate who may be a co-worker or a class-mate or living in same area or locality for a long time. They come into constant contact and become familiar of each other. Their attraction towards each other results into the marriage. Thus, in this theory, the environment plays a very important role. Their daily meetings develop a kind of attraction which may influence upon their decision of a mate selection.
(3) It is known as the complementary need for one’s own personality, profession, hobby, financial standing, physical deficiency etc.. In other words, we may say that the person chooses such a mate who may fill out the weaknesses or drawbacks of one’s own personality and/or expectations.
(4) This is the Parental Image theory. A child since its birth to maturity remains under the influence of the parents. But, it is generally observed that the daughter is attracted towards father and son towards mother. Thus the parent of the opposite sex becomes the mentor of the child. The girl wishes to marry a man who has similar traits of her father and the man likes to marry a woman who has similar traits of his mother. This type of tendency develops in a natural way either consciously or unconsciously.
The above theories have been worked out by some learned people, but those have no concern with our practical life. Our life is not such a laboratory where we may undergo any experiments, make comparisons, do studies or get findings to solve our prime issue of a mate selection. Some religion-leaned people believe that the prospective Life Partner is decided at heaven. We should not criticize them; but apart from their beliefs, we should think out some practical approaches to lighten the task of the mate selection.
Here below, I would like to give you some hints in a typical style for what precautions and measures should be observed to capture the castle of proper selection of a life partner. Let me be clear here with the disclaimer that these are simply the guide-lines and not any rigid rules and regulations. Secondly, the views and ideas are applicable to the Arranged Marriages only and the persons involved in love affairs and desirous going to Love Marriage are free from observing any norms. I remind you my words ‘a typical style’ in this para above and hope you will not expect any interpretation from my end. Some supportive quotes and narrations for my counseling will be there and you may go through them and pick out some HIDDEN HINTS to select a life partner wisely and successfully; and make a married life peaceful and happy. Please, proceed on:
(a) “A wise bird will not be the prisoner even if the net might have been knitted with the silk threads.”(A Persian verse)
(b) “Why should we care which side of our bread is buttered on when we eat both sides anyway.” (Unknown source)
(c) “A volley of questions may arise in our mind, but we should sort out some important only and try to find out their answers.” (Author)
(d) “Never marry anyone you could not sit next to during a three-day bus trip.” (A funny quote from unknown source)
(e) “Person, in selecting the spouse, is free either to follow one’s inner voice and rebel against parents and society or give in before them.” (Author)
(f) “To use own best judgments over any issue.” is wisdom. (Author)
(g) “Divorce – Legal, but undesirable” (Author’s Blog post of May 27, 2007). Isn’t it cute to harness a bull behind a cart i.e. divorce before marriage? But, it is just like ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ Please, do read if you might have missed.
(h) “No life without wife” is true; but “A bad wife is a good knife to cut a married life easily” is equally true. Remember that ‘a bad husband’ also may become ‘a bigger knife’ to finish all within no time. (Author)
(i) “To wear an artificial smile on face” is an art and any unsuccessful spouse in married life has to perform it willingly or unwillingly.” (Author)
(j) “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” (Alfred Hitchcock); but, it may be read as “Life is a drama without the dull bits cut out!”(Author)
(k) “Between husband and wife, there should be no secrets from one another. I have a very high opinion of the marriage tie. I hold that husband and wife merge in each other. They are one in two or two in one.” (Gandhiji)
(l) “Love does not consist in gazing at each other but looking in the same direction together.” (Antonne de Saint-Exupery)
(m) “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the person you think you can’t live without.” (Dr. James C. Dobson)
(N) “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” (Mignon McLaughlin)
(o) “Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal.” (Louis K. Anspacher)
(p) “Relationships, marriages are ruined where one person continues to learn, develop and grow and the other person stands still.” (Catherine Pulsifer)
(q) “The trouble with wedlock is that there’s not enough wed and too much lock.”
I would like to bid you good-bye, meanwhile, leaving you to dive in the depth of hidden thoughts in above quotes and narrations.
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. 9th February, 2008