It seems our world is generally divided into groups: the first and most influential are those who choose to surge forward working day and night to make his fortune, often highly motivated by greed and the desire to have more than his nearest neighbor or farthest family member. Those with this kind of high ambition have difficulty focusing on anything but making a fast dollar and the more the better, getting as much as he can, as quickly as possible. Sadly, ambition is also often equated with power and gives the person a sense of authority over those around him.
Another group tends to be those who have a genuine “stick-it-toitiv-ness” with the sincere desire to make ends meet, hopefully have a little saved for the future, but revel in the blessings of his life. It is the person who willingly goes to work day after day, but welcomes his evenings and weekends to spend with his family with the desire to do nothing more than appreciate what he has without putting material things in the forefront.
The corporate world is doing it’s best to win, at least on the surface. So many people, both men and women, spend their days, at the risk of relationships with their spouse and children, working to get ahead. Our society seems to demand it, with media influence inferring we are only successful if we have the material goods and high paying job to prove it. Our children are often so set on designer jeans, shoes and coats, that anything less is embarrassing. Every member of the family must have a cell phone with a data package, allowing for easy access to internet for social connection to friends on a moment’s notice and a gaming package for entertainment.
Conversation between parents and children has become terse and strained. Relationships between siblings are often nearly non-existent! Instead the need to be in an equal status with peers and a need for constant amusement has become the norm. The sad thing is, however, the cost of this separation and lack of relationship, is leading to more and more problems with depression and substance abuse as teens turn elsewhere to fill the void and fit in. But it doesn’t only affect our children. Families are deteriorating at every turn as statistics show up to four generations in a single family can be defined by divorce.
Leadership and integrity from our parents in the corporate sector threaten to be a thing of the past unless leadership means they fight and claw to give their family the greatest amount of material goods possible. The need for relationships within the family framework is not only desired, but desperately needed, if we are going to reign in this broken family network.
I believe my friend had the right idea. Walking away from a well-to-do society, I am sure would be very difficult if it is what a person is used to, especially to set out to find a life of simplicity. Finding a life within our families, however, can be the greatest reward, even if we don’t have the grandest house on the block, go out to eat three out of four nights, wear designer clothes, drive the sleekest or fastest car, or have all the latest technological gadgets. Our family is an amazing gift of wealth which is often overlooked as such. I suggest this week, you step back from your success story and attempt to forge a new and stronger bond with what is really important: those you hold dear; your family and loved ones.