I finished reading a biography of Mahatma Gandhi – no doubt this was a very influential and GOOD man… I could not help but be disappointed with how little time he actually spent with his family. Yes, he changed the world and influenced a lot of people…leaders, the poor, and everyone in between…but again, I could not help but feel almost a sadness for his immediate family. Gandhi spent YEARS studying different religions and visiting countries and villages helping as many people as he could that were not in the position to help themselves. He had five children but none of which he could say he was absolutely close to. After spending so many years away from his family and even when they lived together he was always out trying to help the world – what about his children? I wonder… did Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s father) spend many years away from his children? Would Mahatma Gandhi become as driven to be as he was had he been raised differently? Think of the famous and influential people you’ve learned about past as well as present. Do you know of their parents? Truth is in most cases, the best parents will never be famous.
What is more important – to leave this world a better place than when you first came into it, or to have off spring and guide them well enough to lead a quality life? Does it have to be one way or the other? Every day we are encouraged to spend money and make money so we can continue to spend it on things that we “need” or really want. I do share the same belief as Gandhi that everyone rich and poor should work for what they need without taking advantage of others to do so. However, in today’s world it’s not about family and helping each other lead a quality life.
You have people who go to school in hopes of getting a good job, to buy a house, and have a family, and to encourage the next generation to do the same. Then you have the people that don’t work, that live off of government benefits, that go and have children to get even more benefits, and ultimately influencing the next generation to do the same. Then you have people who work and don’t have any children. They work to pay for things: their house, cars, bills… everything we are conditioned to think are necessary…but what about family?
If you look up in the sky you’ll see a flock of birds probably flying or hanging out in the trees. In the sea, fish swim in schools. Elephants they are usually found to travel in their herd. Almost every animal in the world stays with their family with exceptions of: panthers, Tazmanian devils, and moose. Ok so it is argued that humans are not animals but for sake of argument what if we were to say we are ‘smarter’ animals… which one of these animal groups are we most like?
People feel sorry for those in the third world countries because they are starving and have no homes…but are they unhappy? What if you were born poor, in a family, where you have to work for every meal in order to survive? Those that live in third world countries most likely depend on family and their neighbors, and chances are they are OK – they are surviving. In fact, if they are surviving with family and friends – it is more than possible for them to say they are happy. How many people live in our society that have a job, a home, a car, and everything else the media makes us think we need, that actually live unhappily? Who are really the poor ones in this world – those without steady income or those without steady happiness?