IntroductionAny home in India, is the collection of good values. Like patience, endurance, spirituality, honesty and integrity and hard work. The fact that most of the Indian homes reverberate with this kind of a fusion music, most of the times, makes the Indian family stand apart. We should never ever deviate from all that is good about such Indian families. The art of making any home, a happy home, based on several successful experiences, has particular reference to a) make caring and sharing a way of life b) dine together as much as possible c) clean the house everyday d) maintain spiritual values e) teach the younger generation all values and f) help others to extent possible.
Make caring and sharing a way of life Even many Westerners who have carried out sociological research on Indian families have been astonished by the amount of caring and sharing that exists in most Indian homes. This is born out of a very broad understanding that wealth alone does not contribute to happiness, even if it can make some difference. While money is important, it cannot by itself lead to happiness.
Caring and sharing simply mean that each member of the family starts thinking of the other family members. In one family, for instance, there were four brothers. The eldest sacrificed his life and settled for a post office job with regular income. His income was used by the father to educate the other three sons. The elder brother never regretted even for a single moment, that he did not have a great job or career since he did not study further. The father, before his death, made adequate legal provisions to safeguard the family of the eldest son. He got a little more of the ancestral property and the other brothers too did not object. The sons of the eldest son studied very well and settled in good jobs. Though in subsequent years, the joint family was gone, the brothers would meet each other very often and exchange all greetings and also take part in functions. The bonding between brothers did not have any issue. It is commonly found that such homes are temples of happiness, as the caring and sharing philosophy is there in the blood of everyone in the family.
Dine together as much as possibleIn Chennai, the Gujarathi and Marwari families that have settled down in this Southern metro for over two hundred years, and are into various businesses, make it a point to dine together and share a lot of jokes and fun. The women folk also bump into each other and do all the work. Sometimes, they live in flats within the same complex. Yet, their sharing and caring are superb. We should learn from them. This is the bonding that we are talking about here.
Clean the house every dayCleanliness is a very essential part of life. It is often said that it is next to Godliness. Spirituality will always go hand in hand with cleanliness.
If there is a need to employ people to clean the house, so be it. The personnel ought to be paid well and also taken care of, in kind. This will ensure that the family reaps the benefit of spirituality in full.
Being deeply religious and spiritual on the one hand, and doing all sorts of atrocities, on the other hand, is a sure recipe for disaster. The house would never prosper. There may be short-term benefits. However, in the long run, such families will simply lose out on values and never be respected by society. None of the need to ape the political class here. They would do any atrocity and get away with it. But we cannot afford to do the same.
Our homes ought to become abodes of peace, of serene calmness and absolute happiness. Any dilution of any value can only bring disrepute to the family. The greatest families are also rich families. They have ethics as their middle names.
To quote two examples. The house of the TVS and the Murugappa group of Chennai are two superb examples of ethics. None of the family members has ever been accused of fraud. They pay their income tax well in advance. Their products are simply world class in terms of quality. Such houses are temples of values that can be emulated by anyone, anytime.
Maintain spiritual valuesA home is also an abode of spirituality in literally 98% of Indian homes. In fact, it is this vital aspect that keeps the family as a unit, very strong and surviving for generations. These spiritual values can indeed make a huge difference to peace and happiness in the family. Spirituality, by itself, tends to infuse a calmness that is so badly needed in today's times. It controls anger, it controls all negative emotions like jealousy and it also controls the human being from crossing the normal and ethical standards of behaviour at home and in the society.
Maintaining spiritual values also includes doing the regular poojas and taking up every aspect of religious practices as applicable to particular communities. In fact, this is the crux of spirituality. Such poojas bring all members of the family together and help them to remain united at all times. We should get the spiritual values to be continued for generations in the home. In fact, it has been time and again proved that families with very good spiritual values are not only economically so well off, they are also far ahead of the others in terms of family cohesion, peace and happiness.
Teach the younger generation all valuesHonesty, integrity, respect for elders, respect for the law and such other values can be easily imparted at homes. It is not without reason that we find the old grandparents telling very small grandchildren stories like Mahabharatha and Ramayana. These stories have too many good things about all good human values.
These stories have been told for generations. Not only these, but there are also hundreds of other stories that have taught the children very good values. The parents have also lived lives that have set an example to children at every stage. There are so many case studies of children becoming very good civil servants after their training in such basic human values, before the age of five. These values have not only survived for centuries, they have made a huge difference in bringing some sanity to good relationships between people and have also reduced economic inequalities. It is high time that we start learning the essence of such values at all times and get the family to appreciate these values on a continuous basis.
There are tensions galore in Indian families. Yet, the home remains a bedrock of happiness and peace and should continue to remain so. Let us not have any compromise on this front.
Help others to the extent possibleThe home is the nerve centre of all action. It is around the home that the entire society is built. For instance, the maintenance of good relationships with neighbours and doing all that we can in times of need does make a huge difference. We will be respected for all that we do in this context and we can indeed move ahead. Similarly, when we start relating to the wider society and each member of the family starts making an impression, it is the home -- the family -- that people start talking about. We should never forget that we have our own Indian culture. This is totally different from the Western culture, where there is crass commercialism. We ought to be far removed from such commercialism and reach out to others.
The 2015 Chennai floods is a lesson. People of all castes and communities got together. Help started pouring in from all over the globe. There was tremendous help forthcoming from everywhere. Hundreds of lives were saved when the youngsters took to the streets and voluntarily organized relief. The love and compassion shown became a big topic, worldwide. These are instances from history, that will always stand out.
Every single Indian home needs to radiate such energy and enthusiasm in helping others and reaching out to others. Once this is done, everything will fall in place.
ConclusionThe Indian family has survived generations, only because people in every home had some values that glued them together. When we start appreciating such values and also practice such values in some form or the other, the entire Indian society will benefit in some way or the other. What has been discussed above are the most important aspects. Once these aspects are taken care of, every home will be a very happy home. Forever.
A nice article by the author. The home gives us a feeling of togetherness and belongingness. No doubt we are all human beings and we should share our joy and happiness with all. But definitely, we relish sharing these traits with our family members. We care each other in a family. When there is a need for some of the family members the others will respond positively. The elders in the family will be a guiding force for the young people in the house. The younger generation should imbibe the good in the elders and learn all the good values. If in a family all the members share the problems and difficulties of other family members, there will be a unity among the members and the home will be a heaven on earth. If all the family members share the responsibilities and are together at all times the home will be always a happy home only.