With an increase in work pace and more importantly, the standard of living in developed countries, most people are now working not to improve their quality of lives but rather, to keep pace with the ever increasing standard of living. It is not uncommon to see beautiful residences furnished with trendy furniture and equipped with the most updated theatre systems. But in most of these abodes, their occupants seldom have the time or luxury to indulge in their own investments because most of these individuals are busy working. Such a lifestyle is adversely impacting on modern marital lives and when couples have children, these kids are turning to pocket money for solace instead of parental affection. This has resulted in an increase in juvenile delinquency over the last few years.
However, the emphasis of this article is more on spending time with all our loved ones than merely focusing on marital or family lives. The abovementioned example is merely an attempt to illustrate how spending long hours at the work places has impacted on the quality of our lives negatively. This article does not seek to discourage people from working diligently but rather, it serves as a motivational piece of writing (as well as a gentle reminder) for us to balance our work and personal life. With the increase in workloads (due to the proliferation of the benefits of multi-tasking, which was later refuted by research as it leads to brain damage) and longer working hours, this has almost become an impossibility.
However, there is still the entrepreneurial route that one can take.
There are two primary reasons that individuals are hesitant about leaving a corporate work place, one of which is stability. There is a consistent stream of income, and one is assured of a long-term job and career. However, with more permanent jobs turning contractual, it is not difficult to see that in the near future, hoping for job stability is not feasible or even sensible. The job market is also getting more volatile and it is a fact that has to be acknowledged.
Another benefit to being in a corporate organisation is career progression. However, this depends on one’s supervisor in the work place. If fair appraisal practices are not practised in the work place, one may find himself/herself remaining in the same place for a long time. Furthermore, the job scope is ever changing in contemporary times and one is no longer sure if one is able to work to one’s strengths in such a situation. As one job interviewer once puts in, “are you sure you are able to stay in this job since the job nature may change at any point in time?” Facing such circumstances, how can job candidates be even sure of what they are supposed to contribute in the corporate workplace (not to mention accepting the possibility of being dismissed once they are deemed unsuitable) ?
Seen from this perspective, it would be better to manage one’s career by ourselves. And that’s through the entrepreneurial route. If we are able to identify our strengths and turn it into a business, that will be great. If you love writing, why not be a writer? If you love musicals, why not be a music writer? If you love knitting, why not sell your knitted clothing? There will always be a concern about raising capital for businesses or if the income earned is enough. However, if we do not try, we will never know. Pursue your passions.
But let’s not digress.
Being an entrepreneur is secondary. Freeing up time to spend time with our loved ones is primary. It’s important to note that our loved ones will not be with us forever. So, spending quality time with them while the opportunity exists is crucial.
And the time is now.
It is important not to live our lives in regret. We should pursue our dreams but superseding it will be to treasure the times spent with our loved ones. Watch a sunset. Read a book together. Set some time aside for some chat. It is interesting that when it comes to marriage, some people prefer their lifetime partner to be independent- defined as taking the initiative to live on their own when they are young. They see such partners as possessing the ability to take care of them over the long-term. However, filial piety is equally important. The value of filial piety has been deemphasised immensely over the past few decades, and this has led to society’s decadence. If a son/daughter stays in his/her house in their thirties/forties to take care of their aging parents, they should not be seen as immaturely dependent or naive. In fact, they should be praised for their filial piety and for dedicating their lives to repay their parents’ gratitude in bringing them up. In fact, these individuals make good lifetime partners because they are imbued with love- for others. Isn’t this a quality possessed by all altruistic individuals all over the world? Such individuals should be praised.
Besides our love for our parents, our siblings are our next closest kin. So, why are there individuals who spend more time with friends than their siblings? Some said that it’s harder to get along with our siblings because they share our personal space in our homes and hence, there tend to be more conflicts. But wouldn’t this experience of sharing be a good learning experience for all of us in preparation for our marital life, whereby the same sharing will also take place? So, if we are able to shift our perspective about issues in life, we are often able to gain a better foothold of how to manage issues better. Our siblings are also our best friends. Some say that our spouse are our best friends, but who came before our spouse? Our parents and siblings. Thus, even after we are married, we should treat our parents and siblings with respect and gratitude.
So, when Mother’s Day or Father’s Day next comes along, remember to send them a greeting card or a present while they are still with you.
And do not forget to tell your parents and sibling(s) that you love them for who they are and for everything they have done for you.
Your parents and siblings truly deserve your love, alongside your spouse.