Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. The family is a microcosm of the larger society because it is the reflection and or representation of the larger society. The social relationships spun therein are the foundation of the network of human society.
The smooth performance of a vehicle is ensured when all the wheels are balanced and in harmony with each other. Any imbalance will affect the productivity of the vehicle. When we link this example to the singular unit (the family) that exists and operates on Planet Earth day in and day out, one may assume that any imbalance in that singular unit cannot affect the world. It would be considered as a silly hypothesis and will be discarded instantly. It is likely that the effects of any disharmony may not cause an instantaneous reaction to the whole, but eventually it would.
A nuclear family which comprises of father, mother and children would require each of the individuals to participate and contribute to its overall well-being. Let us take an example of a family where both parents are working, which is increasingly evident for the past few decades. In case if the husband would still expect the wife to continue to work full force at home just as she would be usually doing, it would be expecting nothing less than asking the wife to be a super human.
In such cases the husband has to equally provide the required support at home affairs as attending to kids, cooking and other areas of activity which are required to run a family. Assuming that the wife will tend to these activities after work can result into one particular side of the wheel be over used. In longer run such inconsideration will manifest effects that can topple the family balance. On the other hand if the wife views her financial contribution in a high handed manner and completely disregards providing emotional support or any other kind of support needed by the members, it will create its own consequences. This too can affect the family’s smooth running.
In case, if the mother is a home maker and completely focuses on her family’s affairs which is equally evident in the Indian Society, the husband should be grateful that his wife has given him the space to focus on his work. That fact should be appreciated than comparing her with women that are working. He should give her due respect as he would, to the CEO or owner of the company, he is working for. On the other hand the wife should have equal gratitude for her husband to be the earning member of the family who is ensuring its smooth running with regards to financial affairs.
In both cases when parents work in harmony it provides a good example to the children in the family and they grow strong, not just physically but in all aspects of life. The family becomes a place where the future generation of the world is nourished and she/he goes on to create greater value in the society. More and more of such children turning into adult will not only lead their family to glory but also the country they live in. This glory need not be limited to worldly achievements, an achievement of being happy individuals and creating ripples of happiness around the world is a much needed element in today’s times. Such kind of individuals will positively affect the happiness index of the country.
It is equally important that the involvement of the children in family is vital. The usual family scenario operates on the pattern that children are expected to focus on their studies and other activities related to them. It is important that children are also involved in family affairs depending on their age. Children feel a part when parents discuss about important matters depending upon their maturity levels. In fact the more you believe in the child’s capacity the more confident and mature you are trying to make him/her. Providing the responsibilities as per their age gives them a sense of achievement and makes them feel inclusive.
The above examples are of nuclear families consisting of four to five members where parents and children are living together. But when we talk about families there are quite a few combinations existing in our nation. Family with single parents, joint families where extended family members stay together, family consisting of only husband and wife, families where kids are staying with grandparents and the list can go on.
When it comes to the topic in question about family members carrying equal weight for its smooth running, our thoughts bend towards the basic social unit that we largely observe in the society – the nuclear family. The topic cannot be completed if we just mention the nuclear family. But, it gives us further reasons to delve into what really makes the family run, for that matter any family. A family may consist of more male members and less or no female members, or just female members or the age gap between family members will be too much – grandparents and grand kids.
So, will it be striking a balance in the parameters– as work, age, finances and gender ensure a smooth running of the family. In that case the example of the grandparents taking care of their grand kids will not be included or any other family demographic that does not fall in the pattern of the basic social unit will be included.
Though work and family life balance, financial stability, gender equality in a family etc. are maintained, will that be enough to run the family? Will it be enough if such factors are the only parameters that are taken into consideration to decide the smooth running of a family?
To ensure smooth running in the family in the long run, equal weight has to be provided to love, appreciation, gratitude, respect and loyalty among family members. These unseen virtues will equally ensure smooth running of the family. It will ensure respect for all, whether the member is an earner or a care giver. These factors should be provided generously by all the members of the family. Such families do not just run their family’s vehicle smoothly, they flourish as they nourish each other as they all adorn the role of care givers.
The well-known philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.”
To conclude, let us provide you some food for thought – ask yourself which are the families you have often heard, a family that prays together stays together, a family that eats together stays together or a family that earns together stays together?