Nov 25, 2010

Daily thoughts - Sacrifice and Family

I know someone who constantly say that she has sacrificed so much for her family. Everytime she does something sort of expected and basic, she considers it a sacrifice. She whines at every opportunity. She has been complaining about her family, her children for many many years and I am not surprised that her children dont really talk to her now that they are all adults. They dont make an effort to see her and she complains about this too. She says her kids arent close to her. Her situation is sad to think that she has achieved a lot in terms of her career and also financially.

She was able to get her dreamhouse, her doctorate degree, visit Europe and be the head of some school. She has a couple of properties she brags about. But has she really succeeded in life? What did she really sacrifice if she has not given up any of her dreams? 

What constitutes the concept of sacrifice? When can we really say whether we have deprived ourselves of what we want just to make sure the people we love are happy, comfortable and successful. 

In my opinion, seeing your kids through school, providing them their basic needs like food, clothing and a shelter are normally what a parent is expected to give their children. If you are a good parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your child grows up educated and healthy. It would be a bonus if you give him a fat allowance or a car when he enters college. 

On the other hand, if you give up your dream of getting that big house or getting an additional degree or a doctorate, in order to prioritize the needs of your child and family then that is something that could probably be considered a sacrifice. You "forgo" your dreams and give way to what is presently more important, your children or family. 

There is nothing more tragic in life than to realize when your'e old that your kids or your family dont give a shit about you. Your properties, money, accomplishments will not make you happy. 

I believe that the rewards of taking care of your children or family goes a long long way. You will only be able to reap it though if you have been a good parent. If you have selflessly prioritized your family over your career or your material aspirations. 

There is nothing wrong if somone wants to be good in his career or have many properties that may come in handy during retirement. HOwever, if you put all these things ahead of what couldve made your family happy, I think you will be in for a major disappointment later on. 

You cannot substitute good memories with your family with things like a beautiful house or an ego wall full of your plaques, certificates, trophies or other accolades.

It is true that life is short and we are taught to dream and be whatever we can be. However, if we only focus on achieving our dreams with minimal regard for the people who love us and look up to us, I don't think the outcome would be favorable. In the end, we will be alone, miserable and regretful that we did not chase the right things in life. 

A family is a blessing not a burden. When you treat your family right, you shouldnt consider it a sacrifice. Especially if you arent giving up any of your dreams to support your family. On the other hand, if you do sacrifice for them, I am certain, you will look back with pride. Your children will not forget it. They will not think twice of leaving their job or comfortable life, to be with you, to take care of you especially when the time comes that you are old and sick.  

If you can afford to give your family the black forest cake they want instead of getting them a mocha roll that costs half the price, why give them the latter? Why save that extra money if it could mean a special day for your family to enjoy their favorite cake? That moment may not happen again. Because life is also short to postpone doing special things for the most special people in your life, your family. 


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