In the era of double income households, EMI payments and convenient loan options, it is a norm to be able to own a car (s) or a house(s) in one’s early thirties or even late twenties. In fact, we are spoilt for choice.
The decision making process in terms of spending has taken a 360 degrees turn. Instead of contemplating between buying a small car or saving for kid’s marriage, the scales have tilt heavily towards going in for a fancy home theatre system or indulging in a luxurious cruise.
Holding on to the same mobile phone/ laptop for more than a year is the thing of the past. Brands and logos have become the new best friends and fancy restaurants lure customers like iron filings to a magnet. The world has become a living, breathing organism that promises utopia, if you can match its pace and rhythm.
So, you would think that our lives have become better. In a very clinical kind of way, yes. The standard of living has increased exponentially, opportunities surround us like never before and we pride ourselves in making our families comfortable. We feel a sense of achievement every time we climb up a step, thinking that we are closer to our perfect world. But at what cost?
The new course that we have chosen to lead has rearranged our priorities. Our days get monopolized by the all consuming rat race. In an effort to earn more money, success, recognition and status; we have bartered our peace of mind for a never ending thirst.
The line between personal and professional lives keeps getting thinner by the day.
Time devoted to simple things like listening to your favorite song, reading a book or just sharing a good laugh, is scarce. Back in the old days, people used to go on vacations to be with their relatives. Now, breaks are taken to spend time with our own families, even with our own selves!
At times, I start to wonder if it was the same when I was growing up. And in an instant, my mind vehemently denies this and almost chides me for my misplaced thinking. It then fills me with sweet and nostalgic memories, so as to silently prove a point. It was a wonderful time. My parents, both working, followed a strict discipline of being home in the evenings to spend time with the family. Not that they were any less ambitious, but had a better work life balance. The heart used to be an easy customer and didn’t require too many services to get pleased.
Nowadays, the very fabric of happy, solid homes is strangely viewed with sarcasm. People who are contented with what they have are often labeled as being “less ambitious”. Strange how society (and not we ourselves) decides what is right and wrong for us, rather we let it.
The more we acquire, the more we desire. That first house seems oh so small & diamonds become an absolute necessity. Second car becomes a priority and number of stamps on passport a score card. We keep running behind an ever changing goal, fooling ourselves that the next achievement will make it all right.
Outings become mechanical, buying an addiction; conversations ring of pre-occupied minds that are busy devising ways to reach the end of the road.
By the time we realize that utopia is more a state of mind than a destination, it’s not easy to change track. The path becomes our lifeline and life a lonely path.
I don’t want to wait that long. If I feel myself getting sucked into the black hole, I hope I can clear my mind of the fog by taking refuge in my childhood memories. I love my life – and I intend to keep it special.