Every day, all of us come across friends, relatives and acquaintances who ask whether we are okay and we mostly reply in the affirmative. Perhaps no one wants to hear the contrary. One day, while on a tour of Kanpur I was on my morning walk, when a good friend of mine asked the same question. I was really not okay that day and for a change I wanted to speak the truth. So I asked my friend whether he wanted me to speak the truth. Somewhat bewildered he looked at me and I explained to him further. In case he wanted me to speak a lie, the reply was in the affirmative. But if he wanted me to speak the truth, the reply was in the negative and I needed some time to explain my problem. He was obviously not prepared for that and the matter ended there.
However, this set me thinking: ‘Are we really okay’? I arrived at the conclusion that it was not so. Most of us are not okay when we say so. The point to be pondered upon is why it is so. The obvious reason is that in this modern world, everyone is so busy with himself that he has no time to listen to others’ problems, leave alone for the problems of his own family members, including wife and children. Most of us are so busy in earning our living, that in the process we forget to live itself. I fail to understand that if one is not able to talk about his problems with his relatives and friends, is it really worth calling them relations and friends? After all, what is the purpose of having relatives and friends? I feel the purpose is to share our joys and sorrows with them. That is why there is the custom of inviting and informing friends and relatives on both type of occasions. It is said that joy is multiplied and sorrow is divided by sharing. Does it really happen in today’s society? I don’t think so. On the other hand, the joy may reduce or may turn out to be disharmonious in the company of opportunistic friends and relatives, while the sorrow may multiply by all sorts of advice offered by them. Obviously, sharing loses its meaning in both cases.
All this leads to tension at individual level and consequently at the social level. The child is not able to convey his problems to his or her parents. Even the husband finds no time to listen to his wife’s problems and then the chain reaction starts. Husbands, wives and children are parts of the society and they carry tensions wherever they go. The result is that we find a disharmonious environment everywhere. Be it a school, a bank, an office or a bus, there is always a lack of courtesy and accepting a little inconvenience for the sake of others is nowhere seen. What do we do then? Curse others and suffer? This remedy is worse than the malady. No, this is not the solution to the problem. The solution has to be sought within oneself. Am I really concerned about the joys and sorrows of others? Seek an honest answer from within. If the answer is no, there is no need to feel guilty about it.
No beginning is too late. Start from your family. Are you really aware of the problems of your wife and children? If not, talk to them lovingly. Most of the problems have no solutions. They are just to be shared. Every problem is an opportunity to improve. Similarly, share their joys too. An occasional word of sincere appreciation can do wonders. It is more than an ornament. Many a time the grievance may not be reasonable. But listen to it patiently and even accommodate against your logic for the sake of harmony. It is worth the sacrifice. Once harmony at home is established, every member of the family will act as a nucleus of positive thinking. Sharing the joys and sorrows of others is possible only when one is harmonious within oneself. Be genuinely interested in others. Be lavish in your appreciation of others, genuinely happy in their joys and truly concerned in their sorrow. You will then find many who will reciprocate in the same way. Then you need not carry the load of your joys and sorrows alone on your head. It will lighten your burden. You will then be able to say that you are not okay, if it is so and there will be no need to tell a lie. There will be well wishers who will have time for you when you need them. In all probability you will then always be okay.