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The Absence of Life in Living
The Absence of Life in Living
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
If often takes a crisis to give us a different perspective on both life and how we are living it. A relative recently had a series if strokes at age fifty. She will not work again. Her career was at its zenith, all the money, respect and advantages that success can bring. She collapsed while giving a speech of thanks for a party in her honour, given before long service leave of three months including a booked holiday to Fiji.
This event will impact on the rest of her life, and for what; a few more dollars in the bank? The stress of her job was more than obvious and after what has happened, she will no doubt question her decisions and commitment to her career.
This scenario is more and more common these days, executives broken and spent, strewn about on the streets of capitalism. Money and position have become the focus of life and many of the other aspects of living have been lost in this pursuit.
The problem with this imbalance is that by circumstance it blurs all else, the energy required to maintain careers leaving little for family, kids, friendships and an active roll in the society that demands this commitment.
Sure, we have to work to survive, to play our part in society and to support ourselves and our family. But where do we draw the line? When do we say the outcome does not justify the means by which we achieve that outcome? The answer of course is always balance, but nowdays that is not easy to achieve. Striving for a better life, more money, more security, a better life for our kids is not easy to dismiss, and I’m not suggesting that we do. However for me, the true beauty and meaning of life does not exist in this realm at all. It has nothing to do with money or status.
Is it more important to instil good values and morals in our children rather than kill ourselves so they can have the latest flat screen and video games? Of course it’s not, but that’s exactly what we are doing. In our pursuit of one we are sacrificing the other.
Society is changing continually, adapting and evolving, but many of the trends are negative. Particularly where children are concerned, the lack of parental presence and connection with their children is creating ill-equipped teenagers entering a harsh world that they just don’t understand. My sixteen year-old refuses to watch the news, claiming it is so negative because of all the strife in the world. How the world is painted by media, scares the hell out of kids and often gives them a sense of futility in joining it. No wonder there are such increases in youth suicide, delinquency and depression. What they see is a world without hope, teenagers becoming cynics. This ludicrous circumstance cannot go on.
How can parents teach values and behaviour when they are hardly ever there? With parents both working, the only time they are in contact with their kids is for a few hours at best, each night. They are stressed from their day and more likely to have a stiff drink rather than parent their kids.
Kids then feel ignored, abandoned and cannot voice their problems and be counselled or given advice. They then become withdrawn, uncommunicative and depressed. They feel on their own in a world they do not understand or can control.
Money is important, but not at the expense of our health, relationships and the development of our children. Children and young adults need to have boundaries, learn values and morals and have positive role models. Without us, their parents, we are sentencing our kids to a life of fear, poor relationships and unhappiness.
Parents must address this imbalance and gain a broader perspective on life and how we are living it, for everyone’s sake. We have responsibilities regarding society and in particular to our children. Life is about connection with people, love, respect and kindness. It is not about money.