Introduction In our modern lives, we need to be aware of certain realities of life that are seeming beyond our control. We need to be prepared to face any one of them at any point in time, without any compromise on basic values. Based on rich real-world experiences it can be easily observed that there is always more than one way out to deal with any issue or problem. The six big realities of life are a) Massive inflation and resulting fall in savings b) Continued degradation of the environment c) Highly complex educational system d) Corruption as a way of life and e) life's everyday problems of living and f) massive violence everywhere
The major coping mechanisms are explained in some detail based on real-world experiences.
Massive inflation and resulting fall in savings One of the most intelligent methods of coping with the massive inflation is to always be debt free to the maximum extent possible. Very young IT professionals and the very smart IIM/ISB products, for instance, do not invest huge amounts in buying flats and apartments in cities like Bangalore or Chennai. They wisely invest in independent houses in emerging cities like Coimbatore, or Cochin and spend weekends there or some vacation off and on. This is a superb strategy as the loans can be easily liquidated much faster. The excess amount, post-tax, is pumped into plots, and long-term savings with mutual funds and trading in fundamentally sound stocks of companies that are always high performers.
This is a lesson. Every middle-class person should aim to buy some property at much cheaper prices in offbeat locations or in the villages that could be near their native places. This is a very wise option as there are very good transport facilities and the smaller cities are also witnessing massive development.
Mutual fund savings are also advised as the long-term (above twelve months) savings are tax-free. Only anything above one hundred thousand rupees is not taxed. So, intelligent investment in such instruments can easily help us beat inflation. It is also wise to go in for only pure protection schemes, as we can always pay less premium in such cases and rest assured that the good returns will take care of our needs. We also need to put off all wants and concentrate only on needs. Cost cutting should be a way of life. Any recurring deposit, in the name of children, should be always for a period of ten years. Nothing less. Such long-term savings are always bound to come in handy in times of need much later.
Continuous degradation of the environment A gated community near a huge slum is not advised. This is not because the slum people are dishonest. However, the poor environmental conditions in such slums can always harm us. Can we do anything about slums?
The sad reality is that we cannot. A friend of mine, who has a huge salary every month, wisely opted to live in a big rented apartment in the OMR area in Chennai. This is a fabulous place to live, as the environment is such. He got to rub shoulders with the other rich people, and it did help his wife to improve her trading business. In fact, she earned far more than the rent they paid and they were able to live a happy life. The other friend did not listen to advise and chose to live in a rather unhealthy environment where the rent was cheap. It so happened that the gated community were near two slums. The poor environmental conditions forced this guy to move out.
Environments in cities are likely to remain what it is. Only cities like Mysore and Indore, where superb improvements have already taken place, will continue to be good. However, the big jobs are not there in these cities and one does flock only to the four metros and Bangalore or Hyderabad. Garbage collection is a big problem. So is the dengue menace as well. There is the water problem issue as well. Noise and land pollution are givens.
Washing our hands with the best anti-septic soap, protecting ourselves from cold and fever through preventive remedies like consuming am-la juice, and taking good advise from doctors for preventive health issues can help us mitigate the problem to the maximum extent possible.
Highly complex Educational system Let us not pretend that this problem does not exist. It does. However, we always need to find out what is best in a given situation. For example, a good English medium education, in a good State Board School is as good as the CBSE school. The child also needs to make intelligent choices after his or her eighth standard and it is in the best interest of the children that parents allow them the elbow room to express themselves. For example, there are so many children naturally interested in Carnatic music or Hindustani music. It is the duty of parents to arrange some facility to help the children acquire the special skills. If they are likely to become professionals in this field. so be it. It is one of the most lucrative and most value-adding professions in the world. It is true that there is global demand and music can never ever go out of circulation. It is always the "in-thing".
Children are also nowadays exposed to alternate careers and most of this is also off-beat. For example, there is this profession called event management, that is zooming. So are interior design, architecture, specialized courses on the bakery, and the like. Most of these are highly self-employment oriented and this helps too. At least thirty percent of today's youngsters want to be on their own. This is simply superb and this trend should be welcomed and encouraged all over. Capital punishment should be totally avoided in the school and at home. Counseling of children does help a great deal. Caring and sharing also have a big role in the shaping of children.
Corruption as a way of life Corruption is everywhere. We cannot do anything about it. In a particular medical college near Tiruchirapalli, the Management was keen on charging a huge amount of thirty-five hundred thousand rupees, for those willing to take admission under its quota. A good friend of mine, whose daughter had a poor NEET score, had this choice. Yet, the girl and her parents were keen to avoid this route. Through an educational consultant, she had secured an admission in a medical course in Russia. Her plus two marks were very high the issue was settled.
We need to pursue alternate courses. Many such students do the B.Tech course in Bio-informatics or even Biotechnology. There are too many options available and corruption can be easily avoided. This is the best we can do. We cannot do anything about the politicians who plunder the resources.
We need not go out of the way at all. The wisest parents pump a lot of money into the IIT coaching. Merit is the only means of admission here. We should learn to "beat the system" for whatever it takes and get that done. We would be doing the right thing if we just do that. We should not become corrupt ourselves. We should continue to pay all taxes and lead a principled life. We still have intelligent choices. That many services are now available in the digital medium is a big plus.
Life's everyday problems of the living The problem of lack of proper servant maids. The problem of over-crowded public bus transport. These are some problems we should learn to live with. For example, it is wise to go over to locations where the water problem is just not there. Even if that means a bit more of commuting time and trouble, so be it. At least, we would have solved one major problem. Likewise, the use of UPS is a must. So is the provision of RO and UV filters, to get the purest drinking water. The so-called "can water" is still not safe. Hence, one time investments to protect ourselves is very much in order. For every problem, there is a solution. We need to work out each solution. For example, just twenty minutes earlier than the normal time, we can observe that there is less traffic on some routes. This is our chance. This is our opportunity, to avoid the major rush. We need to innovate to find out and explore the alternatives available in every given situation.
Massive violence everywhere This used to be an urban phenomenon. Of late, it is spreading even to the smaller towns and villages. The youth are frustrated and roam about in gangs. They pick up quarrel so fast and literally indulge in violence, most of it borrowed from some movie or the other.
We can do little about this. However, we need to safeguard our own children. The best remedy is to turn spiritual, to go after the peace of mind and take off on vacations to other temples, places of spiritual importance and so on. For instance, thousands of foreigners flock to Tiruvannamalai, a small town, some eighty kilometers from Vellore and a neat five hours drive from Chennai, by car, to meditate in one ashram or the other. This is a superb experience, the kind of which cannot be described in words here. A trip to such places might as well calm down our minds. We are part of the rat race. We do not have any choice. However, the routes to cope with the kind of violence we see is very much in our hands.
Conclusion We have just touched the tip of the iceberg. Our complicated lives in today's conditions need innovative solutions. We can always look forward to everything with optimism and hope, only if we try. Yes, we should indeed try. We just do not have any choice.
One has to accept the realities of the life and adjust himself to the environs and see that he will be safe and he will never do any acts which are harmful to others. We can take steps to protect ourselves from the bad environment but at the same time, we should restrict our actions in such a way that we will not spoil the environment.
We should not waste money and take the risk of investing money in risky issues. As such these days the concept of savings is diminishing. Earn and enjoy is becoming the order of the day. So whatever little we are trying to save should be saved in a safe instrument and see that we will not lose our amount. The author is aptly advised that we should invest in real estate in semi-urban areas. A good article from the author.
Very good article written by the author.
I agree corruption is everywhere and what we can do is not to become a part of it. We cannot stop it but by not involving in it we can control it for sure.
It's wise not to spend much on our comfort and luxury as its easy to spend but difficult to save money. We should find out new ways to save money.
It's not good to have a complaining nature; we should learn to compromise with things too. If the transportation system of the city where we live is not satisfactory then we should not complain about it always as we can't change it but should find out the best thing we can do to reduce the effects of it on us. I know it's tough to do that but we definitely will feel satisfied once we try to adjust ourself in life.