Indian urban society has seen changes in how family live together from 1990’s to 2015 and beyond. The last 10 years have seen majority of these urban families now living as nuclear family rather than in joint families. Joint families allowed you to learn to adjust with each other, manage expectations and adapt but also it was restrictive towards individual choices, personal growth and lifestyle habits. In a globalised economy, individualism trumped large family setting. This also led within nuclear families to challenges of dedicating more family time with hectic work life, communicating more effectively, seek guidance or support beyond the immediate family was not available.
The family routine and urban lifestyle led to a faster pace of daily routine, individualistic approach that gave lesser room to express each other without inhibitions. The routine has given us little time to make gestures, small gestures that go a long way in building happiness. We have digitalised our thoughtfulness, our time is devoted to online expression and communicate within family with emoticons. They could be as relevant to current global trends across societies and this doesn’t need to be trounced between digital and real-time. But we seek a sense of balance of fast pace responses with effort heavy gestures, tangible and more long – lasting?
Meaningful small gestures carry more weight than minimal or no effort in making those gestures for your family. Family, in this individualistic lifestyle times becomes our emotional anchor that needs timely nourishment, additional effort and more of our energy. We can start with small steps, here are a few ideas:
– Reciprocation: Find ways to reciprocate to your family members whenever you have the chance. Don’t wait for the perfect time or a big moment.
– Gratitude: With our ever-growing demands/ needs, being happy with what we have is becoming harder. Our society is encouraging is us not to be content with what we have. Gratitude needs to be our habit and showing gratitude within family makes collective happiness a lifestyle than an exercise to achieve it.
– Time is never enough: We will always be short of time if we think of it as a limitation. If we do imagine that every day we have a few minutes extra to express, reciprocate and support our family in small ways, we will have that time! Every day!
Gestures go long way
We don’t need more examples and analogies to understand every small gesture contributes to the larger pool of happy memories. Memories that remain stronger are not the big, giant gestures but those unplanned, unexpected small gestures that our etched in our heart and mind. So go ahead and make that small gesture today for your child, mom, dad, wife or husband or siblings.by