I love confinement.
No, seriously, there are so many good things about it. One of them is that – while kids are at school – I get more time with my husband, and we discuss so many deep topics. It is intellectually stimulating, partner-bonding, and heart-warming. Three-in-one!
During the past week, I had several deep discussions with him about motherhood, parenthood, modern-day politics, measures taken to counter COVID-19, and people’s different reactions to being confined in their “four walls”. And this morning it brought me to the following realisation.
When was life really horrible last time?
Humanity has this feature that they introduce big changes only when the worst comes to the worst. And last time it was real bad in Europe? World War II, I bet you will agree with me.
[Roll-back in time] The post-WWII European society must have been in total shock and despair after the devastation that the war brought about. People must have wanted to make sure that this never happens again, and that their future generations live better, safer, happier lives.
Of course, part of the solution was to unite the scattered kingdoms and republics of the continent in one solid block. This is how the Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was born in 1951, and eventually lead to today’s European Union. The ECSC focused on securing peace and economic prosperity, all very highly esteemed goals, indeed.
How did great ideas and big plans pan out?
[Roll back to today] Today I feel that the great thinkers de l’epoque missed an important element. While focusing so single-mindedly on building the economy, creating a level-playing field for steel manufacturers across the six founding member countries, they left aside the need for raising responsible, respectful, and emotionally balanced generations. The Social (not to say human) aspect of European policies was side-tracked.
What I mean is, by ensuring peace and strong economy, they have secured the external environment for the peoples of the Community. However, the aspect of a family, of mutual support, of ethical depth was amiss. Pity, as such historically pivotal moments don’t come often.
One of the consequences today is that generations of families do not live together and so many newly formed couples fall apart. Young families receive little to no support from the elder generations, the wisdom of respecting and accepting each other was somehow dismissed.
People’s priorities shifted dramatically towards good education and high earnings, while the core values seem to have been lost. The church is frowned upon for the reasons of many scandals and whatnot, but with it largely gone were also the fundamental values of being good (not indifferent) to your neighbour, being honest (not seeking advantage where it is not adequate), caring for each other (more than about the job), and seeking the higher self (rather than richer self, more famous self or the more popular self).
Furthermore, the newly formed nuclear families are faced with tough rules of the “modern” society. Everybody must work because the economy must grow every year (but why?) And since everybody is forced into the labour force (pun intended), women are spread thin between earning the salary and taking care of their home and family.
This inevitably leads to ignoring younger generations, and therefore to further weakening of the bond between parents and children. Worse still, such family conditions are now taken as a norm. The very foundation of a happy child (who then stands a chance to grow into a happy adult) was dismissed, ignored, left to its own devices.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
And by the way, if you told me some seven years ago that I would write something like this, I would kick you out of the living room! (yes, really!) At the time, I was seeking a successful career path, more travels around the world, and recognition.
None of them are wrong, and I do believe that everything has its time, and has a purpose. But the longer I lived alone in a rented apartment, the more I liked living alone and in a rented apartment. It implied that I have no need to care for anyone at home, and that all dwelling-related chores are on the shoulders of the real estate agency. I was free to enjoy life and earn my living. My employer suddenly became the most important figure in my life. But is this natural?
Only in our twisted “modern” society, I suppose. ‘Cause in nature (in the real Nature) family bond is the actual capital.
You don’t get it till you live it
Today, being a wife and a mom, my former lifestyle is unthinkable. Not in the long term anyway.
Once a mom, all the riches of the world pale in comparison with the treasure of having a chance to bring up your children, learn to be a good wife, learn (at long last!) to show care to whoever you meet on your path. To do that, one needs the time, the emotional balance, the energy, and the willingness to take on this life-long project. I dare say, it is the biggest project a man can possibly undertake, and if done with due diligence and enthusiasm, a much more caring, thoughtful, and beautiful society could come about.
Living alone and in a rented apartment, working over hours and partying late into the night, are not conducive to a caring, friendly and sustainable society. Do you agree?
Any help on my big goals, prime-minister?
Talking of projects. So many talented youths aspire to become managers and CEOs, and out of these aspirations, they sweat years over the books, graduate from prestigious universities to then compete among each other for the best positions in the corporate world.
Little do they know that being the head of your own family, manage your emotions and energy levels on a daily basis, understanding the true nature of your children, and letting them shine instead of imposing your world onto them, is the real skill, and no corporate job comes even close! Oh yeah, and the best part? No need to compete with anyone, just your former self 😉
Where in this world will you find a university that teaches you family relations? Parenthood? Ethical and respectful way of living on this planet?
Yes, I hear your answer…
It is never too late to change
Maybe some things need reassessment. Maybe we need to wake up from the illusion we have been drowning in?
Confinement seems like an excellent place to start. This amazing, unusual and somewhat challenging year 2020 has shown to us how little we know about living together, living in harmony, and caring for each other above expecting.
Gandhi famously said: “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”
So, let’s start by re-evaluating how 2020 has been for you? Did you enjoy confinement or was it terrible? If there were one thing you could change about yourself or your life, what would it be?
Then, make a plan to bring about this change. This is very important.
It may well become a pivotal moment in your life. The pivotal moment for the better.
Please, share your reflections in the comments below! And if you think some of your friends would be interested in reading this blog post, then grab the link and send it away! Let’s spread the love 🙂
…while I cook lunch and have another amazing conversation with my husband 😉