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A Reflection on the “Modern World”

Updated on April 7, 2014

Struggle for wealth and happiness

Ever wonder why we continue to struggle to earn more and more money? Even if it means losing time to spend with our children and family? In this hub I will share my reflection on this phenomenon.

In today’s Western world, we tend to be increasingly lonely. We also tend to be more and more self-focused. Of course, we have our kids and our aging parents as well. However, the focus seems to be on how to live our life as it “should” be. I often wonder who decides what is wrong and right in my life. I guess it would be me, not my friends or colleagues.

An ordinary family in Sweden waits until the age of 30 to have kids. However, in the country side it is more common to have children at the age of 22... This suggests that perhaps our “cousins in the country side” make different life choices that allow more time spent with their families.

A piece of happiness.
A piece of happiness. | Source
The wonderful feeling of belonging.
The wonderful feeling of belonging. | Source

Do you measure your wealth in material stuff?

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The material race

Of course, I think that we all try to make choices that we consider the best. However, in many cases, we can be constrained. For example, almost every child in Sweden has his or her own room, even if he or she does not live with parents full time. Both parents have prepared separate rooms for each child. Also, by the age of 6, many children have their own smart phones. My question is: why? Most people do not want their children to be bullied or to stand out. As a direct result of that mentality, many parents work full time in order afford the newest gadgets and trends to keep their children current. Parents also have their needs when it comes to technological equipment, laptops, wireless audio—all units in the home should be connected in a network.

This phenomena scares me and makes me wonder if this is really is for the best? I would agree with these ideals if everyone seemed to be satisfied and happy with their lives. Yet, this is not always the case. I see mothers working full time, leaving their children at a kindergarten. The children cry (often between the ages of 1-5) for their mothers. I have spoken to mothers who admit to crying when they get in the car to drive off to work. They constantly doubt whether or not it is right to leave the kids at such a young age. Mothers and fathers work all day. When they finally gets home, they only have a few hours to spend with the kids. Is it a good time of the day? On most days days it is not. There will be cooking, cleaning to do. The kids and parents get tired. At 20.00 when the kids are in bed, the parents are exhausted. And so cycle continues year after year.

We leave our kids at kindergarten and our old folks at homes for elderly people. What about us in the middle? We feel unhappy and lonely. Some surveys point out that the mental issues such as depression and anxiety increase, especially among women born in the 1970s. There are no clear answers explaining why, but it could be attributed to all demands and pressure in today’s world. The same can be seen in our teenagers. I believe that if the parents do not feel good and satisfied with their lives, how too can their children be happy?

Does this reflect our modern lives?

Follow your heart

What is wrong with common sense and mediocrity; must we all consume ourselves in materialism? I have difficulty understanding why it is difficult to recognize our children’s frustration and how much they long for us—not material goods. As they mature they, of course, adopt the behavior in the work around them and view all material things as really important.

Are there really any options? No one wants to expose their children to bullying or teasing. Of course, that always is a risk to take when making choices that differs from the crowd; however, I think that there are always reasons to be mean, if someone wants to. I think that if we all made some more choices to benefit the time spent with our families, this would not be an issue. Nothing is, by the way and a bit OT... Most of my friends could choose to work less and own a cheaper car, a smaller house and perhaps just one tablet for the kids to share. There always are choices, but we are so afraid of being different—so afraid that we lose ourselves in our fears.

No one—and I mean no one—is going to thank you for not making choices that give you and your family a happier life. No one is going to blame you if you chose to make some changes that benefit you and your children. Maybe there might be some envy, but that is a completely different thing...

Something to reflect over:)

Is the next generation going to act different?

Of course, there are families that struggle with their finances and have difficulty getting things to work. I am not writing about them. I write about people who make good money and that feel unhappy and miserable due to the lack of quality time spent with their kids. This actually is a common issue today and a strange issue to me. We all have a choice and when money is not an issue, why not cut down a bit and get just a bit better on following our hearts?

Our children grow up so fast. One day in the near future, they will move away. Do you think they will come and visit often? I think they will if they are accustomed to spending time with their parents, if they see their parents visiting their grandparents and if emphasis is placed on the importance of time spent with family. We are our kids’ role models and we show them the way through life. When they leave, ready to stand alone, that is all they know.

Our kids might be smarter than us and make other choices, but that is how the human race grows so there it might be hope for the next generation. I hope that more parents of today wake up and start making some changes towards a more harmonic life with less money and material stuff but with more love and happiness. We all have a choice. If you are happy the way your life is today, that is great, if not; at least try to change something. The important thing is not to do what you think you should do, it is to follow your heart. Go for the things you think that you otherwise will regret later on. That is how I live my life today:)

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    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      I appriciate your input here, and I'm glad to hear that you feel this way, although you have to struggle with your economy. Our children are the greatest gifts and I hope you get along well:) Thank you for sharing this!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      This definitely gives us something to think about. I worked in a career until I was ready to have children and then retired to stay home with them. I was over 30 when my first was born. It was what worked for me. My sister had her child before 20 and then went to work in a career she loves.

      I don't have the money I used to have. At one time, I had a successful career and a bank account with more than I knew what to do with. Today, it's a struggle to live each week wondering where the money will come for all the bills due by the month's end. But I feel that my life is more successful now than when I was a successful career person. I have my family and they mean more to me than anything this world can offer.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      vkwok; thank you for your input:)

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      You have valid points, kerlund. Indeed, a lot of what you say reflects what I learned from sociology courses in college.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you AliciaC for reading and commenting. I think it is scary to. Unfortunately we are a few people who does, most people regard this as normal...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The fact that six-year-old children have smart phones is scary! Children need to participate in family activities instead of being entertained by smart phones. Thanks for a thought provoking hub.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Yes we have, we have to find a way back to the most important things in life. Thank you for commenting:)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Our children learn from us. If our priorities are screwed, there's will be also. We need to re-learn the most important things bout life, which include love for ourselves and our families. You made some good points here.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Jackie: what you say is true. We can hope our children are more clever and choose another way to live.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I really fear it is too late and life is all about pleasing oneself in the life is all about me syndrome. Even adults have trouble putting down their toys long enough to drive or have a conversation; unless it is with an online acquaintance they know more about than their own children.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      I have for along time been noticing this among friends and colleagues. And I hear them complain and suffer. We have got the whole idea of happiness wrong, somewhere along the road...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have written often about this materialistic world we live in. Our family is going back to basics....we purchase according to needs rather than wants and we have never been happier.