Monday, 2 February 2015

a need vs want!

Friday: The other day after our game of badminton, my friend and I had an interesting chat. It started with how different the upbringing of kids these days is vis a vis our days. It was more to do with how unfair we are sometimes in our approach. At one end, we are trying to meet all our wants and on the other hand, we expect our kids to understand and value the basic needs of life! Confused??? 

As kids most of us (atleast me and most of my friends) never really got to go on 'big' holidays (as we just couldn't afford it) and so by default our upbringing was a bit grounded. We never had to be told the 'value' of things- from an expensive pencil box or maybe an elite education. 

But today as adults we are probably making up for that loss. We crave and look forward to our exotic holidays, the best for ourselves in lives, the best education for our kids. But on the other hand we expect the kids to be balanced and grounded. The optimist in me is ever hopeful! Will my kids able to differentiate between the 'wants and needs'? Or they don't really need to? Only time will tell what's right for this generation.

Bringing up my kids here in Singapore, also at times makes me feel that they are away from a lot of harsh realities. They hardly get to see the economic disparity which could be a good starting point. Do they get it when I say "I can't afford this".

I feel the closest they see to a struggle is the life of their 'helper' (their 'aunty')- that's the common word we use for our in house maids. Their lives back in their countries is close to miserable and forget education, even food is sometimes a luxury. Every penny they earn goes into improving the lives of their entire family (including siblings).  

I have always (tried to) use this as a reference point with the kids. These helpers live with u and they become a part of your family as years go by. You hope that by the time their term ends, just as they have made a difference to your life, you too have value added to their life in some way! Will the kids be able to see this? Not sure!

The Sunday Life- 1/2/2015
Sunday: A moving article in The Sunday Life. A topic very dear to me and probably most of us away from our parents. Thankfully the article was very positive, and profiled grandparents who have actually moved on with times, got tech savvy (for the sake of staying in touch with their grand kids), have moved temporarily beyond their comfort zone and lived with their kids overseas (and made their life easier!). A lot of times we worry that parents may not have a life if we uproute them, but this article beautifully captures the feelings of aged  parents who have said " They were thrilled to be a part of their grand kids' life, and enjoy the last few years of their lives by just being there". Hhhmm, easier said than done? These are very big steps for them, but like they say, both parties have to take the baby steps or else life will stagnate! The support system's got to work both ways!

And on that note, I shall start another week, but this time (mentally) preparing myself for my 'longest' run (Zoo Run 2015- a 12km on Saturday). Same time last year, I ran my first 5km! Inshallah, even this day shall pass...

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