3 minutes

These are turbulent times. We are password-protecting our real self within and instead opting for segregated lifestyle. A first-hand account of an established corporate executive, shared exclusively with HASHINGLIFE.COM, reveals more. Read on.

I don’t happen to recognise people around me. Everyone looks so untrue and changed. Relationships seem to be more transactional. And, the emotional ones are merely a mirage.

Of my so many childhood memories, there are a few I want to share on relationship and value. As they say “a well-defined value system is a moral code. And you are to live by it”.

We were always a joint family. Joint family, for me, was togetherness. Members either lived at the same place, or, were spread out. Each sub-family had individual preferences, but, within all this there was so much common.

I used to know my family doctor, family lawyer, and family financial adviser. Family being a common denominator. This meant bulk business for the individual, likewise trust for bulk of the people in one family. If I say this is in today’s hi-tech parlance, trust and relationship were crowd-sourced.

Credit card as in post-paid, existed in the form of trust. It was buy-now and pay-later. My father would send the office person to a fixed shop with a list and the shopkeeper would hand-over the listed items. Later, a bill was sent to my father’s office for the due payment. For both, the buyer and the seller, money versus goods was transactional. Relationship was over and above everything else.

Cosmology of relationships for me began here. I moved into the ‘real’ world with these ideologies. Two decades have passed. So many folks, diversified backgrounds, came through during this phase. But it looks so changed now. What has brought these changes? These are different time, different people. People, now it seems, have shrunk their feelings, restricted to themselves.

It is absence of more and more joint families that has affected us. Nuclear family system has made life lonely. Compassion is missing. We are rigid because we don’t have siblings and cousins to fight with and then mend ways with. We don’t have elders to offer us gyaan. We are no more submissive. Neither will I say, we have forgotten it completely. I do see ‘love you sis’, ‘love you cousin’ notes on social media. But why don’t we go to them and say it personally.

We are in the age of ‘MBO’, the multiple brand options. Therefore, our tolerance and trust levels have become weak. It is worse than a weak immune system. It is psychological. There is nothing called a family friend, who is also a doctor. There isn’t a shop, whose keeper, is also your tea-time companion. Brands are products, whereas it used to be people earlier.

We are travelling in a time-machine. It just has obsolescence and emergence doesn’t surface. Gadgets, cars and other material assets are replaced by newer versions. Who wants vintage stuff? Furniture, wall-clock, lamp shades, cupboard writing table… It’s a social stigma to keep old things at home.

Relationships have been included in the same time machine. We are carrying so much with us already that we don’t have another bag for valuing relationships separately.

On a given Sunday, try noting down the list of people you have met in last one week. And next to their names try adding how much you know about them – their hobbies, family, kids, likes, dislikes, food they love, people they admire, books they read, places they go, common interests, etc. It’s overwhelming! Isn’t it? Our knowledge of people is limited to the ‘About’ page on Facebook.

Ok, I have second idea. I am sure you are a connected lot. You have more than 1,000 numbers in your phone book. Huh! Try focusing on top one per cent of them by remembering their mobile number. These are the people who are really important to you.

However, is it only me who is finding this change? Or it has really changed. I am not suffering from Solipsism.

I don’t expect a utopia. I have always believed in living with people’s strength and not feed myself on their weaknesses. Yet I don’t happen to recognise people around me. I am scared and this fear is likely to increase further, as we move into a more complex world.

 

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