This trip to India has made me realize one thing, humans have been successfully isolated from one another and made unstable and each one is so preoccupied with their own stuff, they hardly have time for others. Most people who work outside come back home only past 9 PM. Those who work from home don’t come out of their rooms before 7 PM. In return for this huge sacrifice, one gets a decent lump of money deposited to their bank account. Pretty neat huh? The current situation is equivalent to watching a tree’s complex root system being chopped off slowly but surely. The tree seems to stand tall and strong but we all know that its fall headlong is inevitable, considering it has no root to hold it in place. This is the current state of man.
Slowly but surely, the evil one has succeeded in splitting humans and leaving them powerless. No, the devil doesn’t come with two red horns, a tail and an evil grin, but he’s already in those devices people are staring into for 12 plus hours each day. The damn thing has entered the bedroom, the restroom and refuses to keep quiet. Suddenly offices need you on call 24×7, emails need to be responded to even after office hours, people have become a slave to God knows what!
I’ve felt this in my own home to be honest. Back in 2014 when we had just got married WhatsApp was starting to catch up as the most used social media platform to stay in touch. Fast forward to 2022 and everything happens on it, relationships, school assignments, sales, customer care, work assigning, you name it! My husband has often stated that WhatsApp is a curse in disguise. And he is absolutely right. Yet he needs to be available on it even post office hours and even while on vacation.
But after coming to India I’ve realized that India is a million times more worse. The workforce is always working. The new concept of working from home is even more preposterous. We’re there but we’re not really there. Back in my school days they used to make fun of the day dreaming kids saying that they’re physically present but mentally absent. That’s exactly how it is in our homes these days. What’s worse is both parents work. Both are mentally and emotionally switched off. By the time they switch back on they’re too drained for anything. The only relaxing thing they have energy left for is aimlessly scrolling on the phone.
I’m not saying working hard is bad, ofcourse the Bible itself says one must work hard to earn his bread. If he doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat. But what’s happening now is insane. We don’t have time to look at each others’ faces. We don’t have time to talk and have a casual conversation. We don’t have time for our own kids to unwind with us and share their daily stories. We don’t have time to visit relatives the way we used to back in the day. Homes are actually the quietest they’ve been in ages. Majority of the old people we visited on this trip are sad and lonely, sad because their kids are too busy to visit them frequently. If they do visit, they come with their wretched laptops, tabs and mobile phones and are busy on it. I see such a contrast between my childhood days and the childhood days of my kids. The noise of kids playing is not even heard. Like why? Why are we working so hard? Yes we need money, we need to eat, dress up and live, but does that mean we have to work ourselves to death? Dont we need boundaries in place to decide what is and is not acceptable?
The Bible was right. We can’t serve God and mammon. Yet that’s who we’re serving today – mammon. We were forced to sell our farming lands, give up growing our own organic produce, made to live in bird cages with hopes of a better future and look at where it has lead us! I always tell my husband our city life will eventually kill us long before we’re actually meant to leave the earth. The kind of stress and loneliness it instills in each home is too hard to put into words.
And then the agony is that most married couples stop with a single child to make their own lives manageable. The child’s mental and emotional well being is secondary. Ask them why and they’ll say, oh but we can’t afford two given the current circumstances and lifestyle. But they’ll probably be having the latest iPhone in hand which will keep getting uograded as frequently as possible. Even kids are wearing smart watches. Like seriously, what’s even wrong with this generation? I was the only child and I can tell you what hell my life has been. When my dad died, I was emotionally and mentally shipwrecked. No one called family to hug and share my grief with. Of course my husband immensely supported me but we both were drained because his father had just passed away a month before mine and so I couldn’t dump more onto him. My mom never cared. I was all alone on that journey when he was sick and suffered and when he died. Humans need a support system, they weren’t built to survive alone. That’s why the Bible says be fruitful and multiply, it doesn’t instruct us to plan our family and do a surgery. The very reason we can’t raise more than one or two kids is because we have separated from our tribe, our community, our support system. We have isolated ourselves to despair. Renowned psychologist Dr. Ramani says that humans were never made to live alone in a nuclear family set up. We were born to live and thrive as a community among our own tribe of family and relatives. That’s why the previous generation folks easily raised a dozen kids.
It doesn’t matter if siblings don’t talk to each other when they’re older (the most lamest excuse people will have up their sleeve) but their presence in the childhood years itself is so important to teach them vital life lessons. True life is not always about self and selfies but about being selfless.
The heartwrenching part is that this one child that folks manage to have is sent to day care or left with a nanny for about 11 hours each day. Gone are the days when grandparents pitched in. They’re already down with their own health issues by the time they touch their late 50s. So it’s time to rely on 3rd party folks, maids, nannies and creche staff. How does one feel confident to leave their own flesh and blood under some stranger’s care? I still haven’t gained that confidence. I’ve experienced nannies feed dangerous stuff to children right under my nose and here these people are leaving their kids for hours together over days, months and years. Most of the domestic helpers I’ve come across, come from very brutal backgrounds of hurt, hatred and abuse and in turn they have the least bit of empathy left in them. They’re alive only for money and they will get to any level to amass wealth. I see so many complaints on FB support groups about how domestic helpers have behaved badly and absconded, yet we entrust our most precious kids to their care. Horrible, simply horrible! But ask folks who rely on them and they’ll say oh but we’ve installed cameras. The truth is abuse isn’t always physical. It can be verbal, emotional or mental. The 5 or 10 minutes one logs into a live video isn’t going to be sufficient to identify that.
Some folks have even dared to leave their kids completely alone in their homes with zero adult supervision, while they are at work. This is completely crazy. Adult supervision is so important.
Then there’s the other set of folks with slightly older children. These children are enrolled in multiple activities each month. They go from karate to swimming to abacus to dance to music to gymnastic classes and the prime focus is to keep them away from home and keep the nuisance at bay. Ask the kids if they’re really interested in doing all of these. Invariably the answer will be NO.
I’m trying to understand what we’re trying to accomplish. Today educated men and women face the highest rates of unemployment. So rest assured education doesn’t guarantee a solid income. Many kids are stressed out in life, something we may never have heard of in the previous generation. Kids are allowed to spend time with mobile phones and tabs just because the education system demands it. When it’s crystal clear that such devices are not beneficial in any way for their emotional and mental development, why are we as parents allowing worldly systems to decide our children’s activities and course of life? Would we allow our 7 year old to try alcohol? Or drive a car maybe? When there is an age restriction for these activities why are similar restrictions not in place for technology usage and gadgets since we know that it is equally detrimental at the wrong age? Did you know France has completely banned the use of mobile devices in schools for kids aged 15 and under? What are we as parents failing to see? We need to get our work done so we don’t care what our kids are doing? Why are we so busy?
Busy, busy, busy. I have started to loathe hearing this word. Are we going to carry along with us all these things we’re working so hard towards after we die? We go empty handed! Only the love and kindness we have sown lives on. Then why are we constantly killing ourselves with all these heavy burdens? We torture our children as well by harassing them to study and perform or learn multiple arts when they are least interested. For heaven’s sake let’s give them a break. Just because we want them out of the home, doesn’t mean they need to go learn something, unless of course they’re personally interested. Let the little kids live, breathe and relax. There’s a stressful journey ahead in their adulthood, do we need to kill their childhood too?
We are literally accelerating our death by living the way we are. Unfortunately this is the bitter truth. Kids as young as 5 years old have health issues like SIBO, constipation, asthma, eczema etc., all thanks to our lifestyle! Kids don’t get a chance to be physically active on a daily basis so their bodies start acting up. The healthy food habits that our ancestors had incorporated in their daily lives has been buried along with their mortal remains. They grew their own organic produce and consumed only those food items that they managed to grow. Today we have given up on farming and have adopted an easier lifestyle physically, we are extremely lazy and are mentally overloaded and we barely make it past 50 years. The money we work so hard to earn, we effortlessly handover to hospitals to treat all the modern diseases that thrive so well. How often have I read on FB support groups that some kids are constantly living with a cold. No natural remedies or allopathic medicines are able to give them relief. They’re loaded with antibiotics from well meaning doctors to never recover from the cold. Why? Because those tiny bodies are so overworked and stressed that they can’t even develop proper immunity. They need rest. Instead we wake them up at 5 AM to get them ready for school, and they leave by 6 AM without even eating proper breakfast. Because school routine is hard, we opt for packaged foods which have zero nutritional value. How many parents actually read through the labels of packaged foods? Traditional dishes are not welcomed at schools either. We live in cities that are densely populated which aid in propagating diseases at lightning speed. We raise single children, we don’t spend time talking to them and instead we offer them gadgets, then they end up with speech delays. Then we sit and worry and spend years of our life in agony instead of enjoying this beautiful life God has blessed us with. We were never ever meant to live this way. We have drastically reduced our life expectancy by adopting the Western culture. We will deeply regret this when it’s our time to leave. I’m yet to meet a single person who feels the way I do. The rest of the world is busy buying the latest technology and gadgets or binge watching Netflix or stuffing themselves with unhealthy food from restaurants. They’re not bothered one teensy-weensy bit.
My child’s nursery teacher once told me that the children of today’s world are heading towards a huge mental health crisis by the time they hit their teenage years just because they have no family member beside them to hold their hand and guide them. 80% of them are left to figure out stuff on their own. She said parents are not even around to nurture their children and teach them moral values and hence children are growing up like brats and most of them are single children. She said she has to earn so she could never be there if she had a child, hence she decided not to get married and have kids. A much more wiser decision in my opinion.
I’m not sure why I wrote this blog but it had1q been on my mind for a very long time. Seeing where the world is heading I think it’s a much needed topic. I remember before I got married, when I was speaking to prospects, they all openly stated that they were willing to have only one ot two kids. It sounded crazy to me. But God brought someone who had the same thinking I had. I am so thankful to God for that blessing. My dream now is to move outside the city, own a parcel of land with a small home and loads of space outside to grow my own produce. I hope to teach my kids useful life skills like cooking, gardening, managing the home and things that will actually help them to live an independent and healthy life. Education till date has been the least of my concerns, because the system only raises close-minded people who more or less think alike and do not question the system itself. I remeber my elder daughter’s computer teacher stating that the printer is a part of the computer, when I questioned this, I was told to accept this incorrect teaching. Mainstream education strips children of their inborn creativity. It makes them device dependant and they all end up slogging 13 hours a day as adults which is not my dream for my kids. I always guide my children to take the path that leads to good health and contentment.
Ending with this chapter from the Bible which summarises everything I had to say. I hope that every true Christian changes their perception of this earthly journey and prioritises what’s truly important, family, health, love and kindness.
Psalm 127 KJV
1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.