Of all the qualities possessed by man, that have carried him through the millions of years on this planet, if one quality stands out and above all it is his ability to reason. Reasoning enables him to differentiate the right from the wrong, the good from the bad. It arms him to go after his desires, pursue his goals. It reminds him of his conscience and integrity. It makes him the most dominant species to have ever walked this planet, yet it is elusive to him in one very important aspect of his life – finding a life partner. Though the problem is trifling in the developed countries like those in the west and in Europe it is a very prominent one in India.
We are undergoing a phase shift, changing from the orthodox and rigid to the adaptive and flexible. The change however is not in an individual life but between the last generation and the current. And this is the source of the problem. Parents have a prejudice that their kid should live by the virtually enforced laws of community, a community that is comprised of people of their generation sharing a common confined mindset. To these people it is absolutely unacceptable that a youngster chooses his life partner by himself. It is an act of defiance on part of the youngster toward all those who loved and cared for him. It is a shame that he brings upon the family. It is degradation of respect in comparison to all those families that have managed to tie their children by the laws of society. If the partner chosen is from another caste or religion things are even worse. The world ends at this for the parents and the opportunity to discriminate arises for friends and relatives. The act becomes an unpardonable sin. Why? It is because the generation of our parents has lived their lives on beliefs, values, opinions and principles that are not exactly same as the ones that a youngster lives by today. For them the pleasures of life are largely dependent on the acknowledgements from the people around them. It does not matter to them if they have to suppress and constrict the lives of their children to achieve this acknowledgement. Obliviously they are ready to make the life of their loved one a compromise for the sake of those who have not even the slightest care for them.
Change towards the better is natural. By the rule of nature we humans subconsciously put in effort to get better. We see this in our everyday life – people and businesses want to earn more, take tougher challenges, set new records, push beyond defined limits. This is what has brought us from the Stone Age to here and this is what is going to take us further into the future. And this is what has made the individual of today realize subconsciously over multitude of years and experiences of his ancestors that a partner for life is not a mere obligation but a self attained proclamation. A gift given to self that enhances the process of living in tune with the law of betterment of nature. Evolution has taught the individual of today to look for pleasure from within, live for himself and not for the people. An effect of this teaching is that he tries to find what’s good for him without regard to that those around him think – be it the food he eats, the car he drives, the work he does or the person he chooses to spend his life with.
The clashes between the generations will continue to exist throughout the lifetime of man, only the form and field will change. But no matter what the time and the nature of the challenge there will be men who realize what is right, stand up for it and fight not to make life a compromise.
By Madhusudana V N