Holistic Health and Living

Family

Family

Parents – What are we doing?

Being a mother myself, I am, at times, left completely flabbergasted by the modern parent-child relationship and the failure of the institute of parenthood as a whole. I see sons spitting utter hatred and resentment in the faces of their father, I see daughters reducing their mothers to the role of an ignorant maid, I see children raising their hands, let alone voices, in front of the two most significant characters in their existence, and shockingly, I see parents accepting this deplorable reality with grim faces. Where have we come to, if the mother who gave birth and spent countless sleepless nights for our comfort, and the father who spent every waking minute tirelessly to earn for his family and provide a good life to them, are thrown on the streets as insignificant, unworthy, or undeserving of love and respect. If our society has ever, at any point in time, faced the question of whether parents are worthy of utmost regard or not, we have lost the game. And this is where the complete demolition of our social system, that we see evidently today, began.

However, being a mother, I also remember the sheer innocence in the eyes of my child the first time I held him. Everyday, I saw him absorb meanings, emotions, thoughts and beliefs to form his personality as it is today. A child, therefore, is nothing but the environment provided to him. Therefore, one can’t throw the blame of his misconduct solely on him, but, holding the society, and most importantly, the storywriters- the parents, responsible for however an individual is, at least partially, becomes an understood and harsh fact. The mother who was not able to tend to her child’s needs as he cried in fear or hunger, the father who could not put down his phone to pass a smile to his toddler learning how to ride his toy car, the mother who lost her patience on the 101th sleepless night and shook her baby in anger, or the father who couldn’t protect his daughter from unwanted eyes as he never noticed, all in their ignorance, played the most crucial part in building the lack of trust, compassion and self-esteem in the Youth we see roaming around with an epidemic of identity crisis and moral decline.

Parenthood-easily the most daunting job, with repercussions that go beyond generations, has unfortunately been misjudged, undervalued and misunderstood in the importance it was meant to have for a successful life, personal or professional, for every person. Bonding with your children since day 1 and inculcating hope, independence, creativity and self-worth is the most honorable task one can do, and the greatest gift one can offer to the society. The smallest acts leave the greatest impact, hence, it is essential to note which acts to engage in to leave a profound effect on the personality of our children, in a wholly positive way, to save our and their future. The day we realize what parenthood was ought to be, and we assign the effort into doing justice to that role, that day we just might be able to regain the social system that once was.

Family

Fatherhood – A Lost Treasure

Fatherhood - Father and Daughter

A man is raised with the image of being the unemotional, distant, breadwinner of his family. The alpha male is often revered in our society as unexpressive and strong in his ability to hide all feelings, good or bad, or not feel them at all. In this persona taught to our sons and brothers, directly or indirectly, we often paint the idea of an ideal father as the ultimate provider, maintainer, sustainer for his family – all good and positive traits, however, missing the key role of the guider, protector, advisor. So fathers set out for their journey of working their blood and sweat for more and more provision for their families, everyday, every minute, focused on their sole purpose of making sure all needs are met and wishes granted. Unfortunately, these needs and wishes are often limited to fancy vacations, latest gadgets, expensive schools, grande house and luxury living, seldom involving family dinners, father son football matches, heart to heart conversations, hands-on bonding activities and sharing of life lessons. In this terrible mistake, the father, despite his most dedicated efforts to building a strong family foundation, is left with children who slowly grow apart from him, year by year widening the gap of trust and understanding everytime another important life decision went unattended by their role model, or a significant event was missed by their hero figure.

And now we see a society where the generation differences between children and parents are mindboggling, in the ambience of mistrust, disrespect and misunderstandings, this once sacred relationship is now tainted with fights, arguments and an incredibly disheartening feel of emptiness.

As a consequence, like a traveller without a compass, these children are living their misguided lives one mistake at a time, indulging in immoral, unethical, media-driven values, following the wrongs and evils of the society which is completely and utterly parent-less. A society, financially developed, technologically advanced, however, morally corrupt, uncivilized, principally vacant, and easily fooled by the surrounding pressures, is the perfect replication of the reality of every household today.

Fatherhood, in its attempt to provide, has failed massively, to provide a safe, comfortable, clean environment to its offspring, and so, who was meant to be a beautiful teacher, is now no longer any more than a money-making machine, treated with the same love and respect, as he has unknowingly imparted.

Family

Choose Your Lovestory

Choose Your Love Story

Divorce. Separation. Unhappy Marriages. Late Marriages. The Torment of Rishta Hunting. Fights and Abuse. Here are some of the many ills this society is drowning in due to the collapse of the Marriage Institution. We are driven by images, stories and fantasies of the media to search for a happy ever after amidst a havoc of reality which is, instead, filled with horrifying tales of love that never is or never lasts. Can marriages be salvaged and can those hoping for a happy ending, actually get one?

The hope lies in between dream and destruction where our fantasies are tainted by a hint of reality but not completely extinguished from the mere possibility of finding a fairytale ending. In this hope there is a lot of understanding, growth and trust in the strength of the relationship of marriage. Unfortunately, deep within, most of us all, if not all, have lost faith in the institution of marriage, which hence, plays out for itself in the negativity we attach to it, only furthering our wrong beliefs. If, instead, we hop onto the wagon of Faith and see the goodness that can lie in marriage, we can take the first step towards finding our soulmate, in our current or future spouse.

Secondly, it is necessary to fully grasp and digest the meaning of a marriage which goes beyond candle night dinners and chocolate fountains, a happy marriage is hidden in those tiny moments of silence, the unexplained understandings and complimentary opportunities of growth. It is when someone allows you to reach your highest potential, that he becomes indispensable, because you are better off with them than without. Therefore, it is necessary to work towards becoming that beacon of light for your partner to let the romantic story write itself, with time.

Factual, Family, Health

Wrong Rat Race

rat race

“Sorry, she is busy in her studies”, “You know how difficult the education has gotten for these children nowadays, she won’t be able to take out time for anything else”, “If only she could get all As, her life will be smooth sailing from there” – a numbered few quintessential phrases we get to hear from those driven, hardworking parents who want to see their children rise to success and stardom. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear “I wish she becomes the best mother one can be”, “If only I could find a place which would teach her to play her roles right”, “Women are the makers of generations to come, I will invest all time and efforts into teaching her the art of life, that’s the most important subject she needs to excel in”.

These thoughts are only hymns of my dreams, of a world where parents will stop running in the wrong rat race, both for their sons and daughters, where grades, numbers and rankings start defining how “good” a child is. Children are taught nothing about living a life, but all about making a living. In the midst of continuous competitions to be better than the girl next door, we often forget to ask ‘better in what’?, and there we get stuck in the vicious cycle of following the crowd, and finding no escape but in being like anyone else.

Step out of this entangled web which goes nowhere. Breathe. Choose to become the decision makers in your child’s life, and don’t be misguided by the pressures of the world. Do you want more degrees, which are laminated pieces of paper signed by an individual with a bigger degree than your child’s, often highlighting knowledge which becomes information as the years pass by and we stop implementing our learnings into every moment of our existence. Or would you prefer life skills which is knowledge that becomes wisdom with time and experience, a significant part of every step your child takes in her life. If this rat race was to develop, improve, better us, would we not to be standing as better humans beings, more civil, ethical, morally upright? But the state of affairs of mankind has deteriorated tremendously, and we stand today as worse but more ‘educated’ than before.
Think. Choose. Decide.

What race will your child be running?

Verita – Art of Living Institute is an initiative aimed to improving the quality of life in all arenas with the tools provided to us from religion, human behavior and social sciences.

Factual, Family, Hope

Wake Up Parents!

wake up parents

I am a new mother. A mother of a beautiful baby girl whose every smile and every cry defines the movement of every cell in my body. Her pain fills every inch with an inconsolable ache, and her laugh removes the slightest grief and sorrow from the core of my existence. This new phase of life called motherhood has introduced me to the emotion called love unlike ever before -something which can be so incredibly consuming, overwhelming, exhausting, draining yet persistent.In this new experience, I wonder, how can a mother want anything but the supremely best for her child. How can she even imagine something below this standard and not work tirelessly to move mountains if she must to provide more and more for the love of her life. And then I look outside the secure windows of my home, and see the gruesome reality that lies in front of me – the life of young girls which is no less than horrible and terrifying. I cannot put my mind to think other than that their parents must be completely unaware and ignorant of a better life that is achievable, otherwise I would not see girls broken beyond belief roaming the streets with smiles plastered across their faces because they think they cannot have better.

Girls too scared to be themselves, girls entirely unaware of who they are, girls killing themselves to conform to societal standards, girls caught up in the vicious rat race of being more beautiful, more powerful, more acceptable, more likable, more of everything they need never care about, and forgetting about becoming more moral, more compassionate, more kind, more accepting, more loving, more caring, more influential, more helping, more peaceful.

When is the last time we sat our daughters down and told them they are unique and perfect just the way they are, and they don’t need to follow the latest fashion trends or obsess over media superstars to become better women, better mothers, better daughters – better human beings! Why are our girls running after degrees to become self-sufficient and self-reliant when they should be working on becoming self-loving and well-groomed? Why has arrogance become ‘cool’ and manners ‘run out of fashion’? Why has healthy eating been mistaken for dieting and obesity become a widespread disease? Where has the ethics, the empathy, the everlasting humanity gone?

Think about it…

Family, Health, Hope

The Sad State of Marriages

marriage

Ah! What beauty lies in silence! There I sat in my light brown couch on the wooden floor of my illuminated veranda, sipping on the warmth of my tea. The teeny tiny twinkling droplets fell poetically before me and I heaved a breath of fresh air amidst the crystal clear ambiance. In this picturesque setting, I flew down memory lane to those cherished moments I had spent with the love of my life. Her contagious laughter, our heart to heart conversations, the moments in time where we had pushed each other to greatness, the enormous effort we have invested day and night into the plans of the future, the love and the life, every memory, every moment, every minute triggered in me a plethora of emotions.

The piercing roar of the thunder brought me back to reality. There I sat, alone, lost in thought of the most important person in my life who was now a shadow of the past. Misunderstandings, fights, disagreements and arguments – a heart-wrenching tale of the fall of this sacred relationship. All was gone and shattered because of reasons which now seem minute and insignificant.

But why? Man lives in the here and now, he seeks instant gratification, he longs for immediate results, and he often sacrifices the wars of the future for the battles of the present. In our selfish endeavors, we magnify the flaws and weaknesses that, by definition of being a human, exist in our spouse. The pursuit of perfection and the desires which drive us often disallow us to appreciate the good. We fail to understand the beauty in our partner, the strengths, the strive and instead, focus far too much on the have nots. This lack of respect for the roles, the failure to acknowledge and value the interdependency of the relationships pushes us into a dark corner of unhappiness and dissatisfaction from our relationship.

10 or 20 years from now, when you hold your spouse’s hand and wave goodbye to your grown up children who are off to lead a life of courage, challenges and compassion, that success in front of your eyes will reduce the petty arguments and fights of today to a matter of insignificance. With all the time in the world, when you and the mother of your children can cherish the happiness, remember the highs and lows, and hold each other to growth in these years of age and experience, the problems of the past no longer have a place to linger around in your minds and lives.

Trivial clashes of everyday can either be ignored to win the relationship in the long haul, or can be clustered to blow up in an irreconcilable split of the two people who love each other so dearly. Every moment of pain and hurt can be exchanged for love and trust, every loss of small arguments can be bartered for a life of support and comfort. The choice is yours to decide what you value more. These everyday decisions formulate our destiny. You are the author of your own love story and you have the power to make each chapter one of joy or one of tragedy. Sustainable relationships, powerful families, successful generations and developed societies are the accumulation of such small instances of important decisions. The question is, what do you choose for your future self today, right now, at this very moment?

Suddenly the lightning struck and I shook the thoughts out of my head to find the rain had stopped, the clarity had blurred out and the water now stood still in a muddy puddle before me. The silence still prevailed but the beauty had faded. The moment had passed, time had gone, and my marriage, like the rain, was merely a thing of the past. I had lost everything.

Family, Health

Motherhood

motherhood

A prestigious degree draped over my shoulders, countless certificates and awards to my name, and excellence in my field of living day to day counseling others on matters of life, I carried along my name a confidence, a will and knowledge which minimized otherwise troublesome nuances of life into beautiful opportunities of growth, allowing me to shine brighter and prove myself further. Not a subject in school could I not master, not a competition in university I could not win, not a person in life I could not move with my words as poise as poetry, and as powerful as prayer. I could do it all, right?

2016. A New Chapter of Life. A new challenge, a new chance to outdo all others. I entered into a phase which had long been presented in its glory, glamour and horror. I had seen mothers in tears, in fury and in shattered pieces trying to make their way through a haunted, thorny path- Motherhood. But me? Oh please, I would set an unprecedented standard of perfection here as well. As the bubble of my picture perfect life burst right at my face, reality hit me harder than my mother’s chappal.

Unaware, ill-equipped and unprepared. No degree, certificate or award could sooth my strained eyes from all those sleepless nights, rejuvenate my drained body from continuous nursing, or freshen up the killer stench of countless diapers. I was taught rationalization, my baby cried for no reason. I was taught one-click convenience, my baby survived on my patience. I was taught self-focus and self-grooming, my baby was the centre of my attention. And suddenly, all my pride fell flat on the floor. I was completely clueless for the first time in my life.

One moment, and you hear that first cry. From a wife, a daughter, a friend, you become, a mother. One moment and your life is no longer yours. Every word you utter, thought you wonder, feeling you muster, is a chalk on a blackboard. Your child is the product of everything you could be forgiven for before, but now, will be shown as a reflection through your little one, for generations to come. A role so significant, so worthy, so difficult, yet, so ignored. With every tear that rolls down my cheek when I feel I can no longer gather the energy to move forward the way I ought to for the betterment of my child, with every sleepless night that passes and exhausts me further, my respect for womanhood and all those fortunate enough to be a part of it, only multiplies. Motherhood – what a wonderful rollercoaster ride.

Family, Hope

Generation with a Golden Spoon

parents

“Mom! It’s way too hot for me to go outside!” the child exclaimed.“But dear, who is asking you to go by foot, you have an air conditioned car parked right outside for your commute. If you keep lying around as you are now, you will never learn how to live in this world”, the mother responded.“Who cares, mom, after all what do these poor people have to offer me while their life is spent sweating in their dirty clothes under the hot sun without a word of English coming out from their mouths and none listened by their ears!”, the child snobbishly replied to his mother’s wishes.

Arham, the eldest son of Khan’s family, was requested by his mother to fetch some vegetables from the market whilst he submerged his existence into the latest gadgets and luxuries of life. This response illustrated above is one of the many reasons Arham’s mother is often found worried about her child’s attitude towards social gatherings and outdoor play. She always finds Arham engaged in social media and glued to his iPhone using WhatsApp, ignoring and avoiding any chance of helping around the house or meeting the guests who visit the Khans habitually.

Another alarming concern is Arham’s disinterest and rather, annoyance towards his father’s presence. He goes as far as to avoid any interaction with his father altogether. The father who works tirelessly day and night, spends every penny of his sweat and blood into making his child happy, sacrifices constantly for the good of his family, lets go of his personal wishes and desires for those of his family, that father. And today, his child does not even wish to meet him. A story we have heard far too many times, Arham is just one of the million others indulging in similar selfish, disrespectful, unfortunate behavior. Where parents do the utmost best for their child, the child takes every moment of love for granted.

The question arises, does the fault lie in the selflessness of the parents or the selfishness of the child? Have the parents gone wrong at some significant point in life to provide a strong foundation of character, personality and understanding to their children? Have parents forgotten the ultimate goal of becoming a good human being over and above the meaningless temporary happiness their child receives from gadgetry and luxury?

Parents raise children like Arham with a Golden Spoon but forget to teach how, when and where to use this love of gold. Compromised morality, inadequate social skills, ignored ethics in all successes, and underestimated importance of rights of their parents and elders, this is the reality of the golden love they have become accustomed to. The situation before us screams the fact that learning how to help others, accept and learn from mistakes, show and feel gratitude for the smallest of blessings, and depict the true spirit of humanity isn’t hidden in the riches of the world but in the riches of good nurturing which Google, despite knowing the answer to all your questions, can’t do.

Where to go and what to do?

Wake Up and Choose the life you will want to give to your child!

Family, Hope

Family Bonding

Family bonding

Back when I was a child, life was much simpler. My family would not feel the need to separate into smaller segments in order to find the “right” source of enjoyment over the course of the weekend. We would, instead, sit down together, all four of us, in the pleasant ambience of a family restaurant and take delight in a simple, scrumptious meal. No, we did not question whether what we were eating was actually chicken or beef, but instead, we took pleasure in the reality which was not hidden at the time, in the purity which was not rare, and in entertainment which was not stained.Today, life has become much more complicated. Entertainment itself has become a complex puzzle, in which something or another exists for everyone but there’s nothing which in itself can serve the needs of all family members combined. A place, a moment, a reality which can cater to everyone’s needs and do so in complete and utter purity. While parents rush to their choice of gatherings for love, laughter or learning; youngsters often lurk in the horizons of the social media or the ‘cool’ and latest hangout spots for their own kinds of joy.

I ask you. Then, where is the family? We are no longer one unit. We are segments of a larger entity, and the broken amalgamation of separate identities, forced together on the dinner table or in the Eid prayers. Family as one no longer exists. The glued which would once bind us, has withered away.
Verita works on finding that glue and gifting you a memorable family bonding experience.

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