Only a woman can make a house a home!


Anybody can live in a  house. But few can call it a home. Invariably, it is a woman who can make a well-designed house a beautiful home by filling it with love, warmth and care.

 

I have often wondered about this. What makes some families special? What makes some children special? What contributes to the phenomenal positive energy that you can feel the moment you enter some people’s homes? And, over the years, I have come to understand and appreciate that my question really must have been asked with a ‘who’ than with a ‘what’! Because it is the lady of the house that makes the place special and anchors by practicing the values that make the children grow up to be responsible, compassionate, successful adults! This is not to impune the role the men-folk play in any manner, but somehow the flavor that a caring woman can bring to better home-making is matchless.

 

 

Over the last two days we met a fine gentleman whose story is unique. He’s an Indian, a Marwari Jain, who lives in Pittsburgh in the US. He and his family (wife and two children) live with his parents, his two brothers and their families in a large multi-bedroom villa. They still live together, continuing an age-old Indian tradition which has come apart even in India for various factors __ from individual preferences to more evolved family/community perspectives. But his family still loves this way of living and finds great joy in this. Even his grandmother used to live with them until she passed away a few years ago. The children in their home touch the feet, as a mark of respect, of any older guests visiting the family. They make annual trips to India to connect with their extended Indian family in Rajasthan and get to refresh their Indian language skills and are initiated into new facets of Indian culture, music and dance on each of their visits. A common friend who knows his family and has been to their home describes it as one that is filled with ‘love and a rare warmth’ where the mother and her three daughters-in-law live in ‘complete harmony’!

 

 

Surely this family may have its own share of inter-personal issues. So I am not making a case for us to believe a fairy tale! But what makes this story special is the fact that this family lives together in the US even as the joint family system has gone ‘out of fashion’ in most parts of urban India. I am neither for nor against joint families. I don’t live in one. And I may not want to live in one either. But I liked this story when I learned about it because it substantiates my theory that women make our lives__and worlds__better. Importantly, they play a key leadership role in shaping our own destinies and those of our families and children. And please don’t get me wrong. I am in never in favor of relegating women to play just home-makers. I feel that they truly deserve and must have (not given – because who’s anybody to ‘give’ what must be freely available to anyone?) dignity, respect and complete empowerment in every aspect of Life. In fact, I marvel at their ability to pull off a world-class feat every single day __ without grudging, without complaining, without citing an excuse __ in so many millions of homes across the world. It is wonderful to see them juggle between their own successful careers and social commitments, even while looking after even the mundane responsibilities in the household, and yet being compassionate, caring while dealing with the children and their ever increasing, demanding needs and still providing us men undiluted attention and love. It’s the most perfect example of flawless multi-tasking and selfless service that you will find anywhere in the world. And if you can find it in your Life, in your home, realize that you are indeed blessed!

This isn’t about gender or about what a man can do and what a woman can. This simply is a sharing of what a huge difference a woman’s love can make to enrich the lives of so many in her immediate circle of influence. This is a celebration of that beautiful love that only a woman is capable of!


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It’s never too late to start living in Life!


It is never too late to start living in Life!

 

We miss the beauty and magic of everyday moments because we are either grieving over what happened or are fearful of what may happen. Truth be told, we are all, always, journeying through Life with more load than what we can carry. We are carrying baggage from the past __ guilt, remorse, grief and we are carrying unreasonable expectations of the future __ fear, worry and anxiety. Either way, we are struggling through Life. So, Life appears to be a drudgery. A burden. And a sad song.

 

To be sure, no one, simply no one, is spared of pain in this lifetime. Everyone who is born on the planet has to deal with their share until, as most scriptures say, death frees them. This is the truth and this reality is inescapable. It is when we label this share of pain as unfair, unjust and unkind, and therefore resist it, that we suffer.

 

Simply, tell you pain off: “Hello, you have come uninvited and I know I can’t do anything about it. So you be where you are, do what you want to do. I am choosing to be unmoved and I am choosing to just be. Now watch your relationship with pain change.” It will potter around with your Life but not at the cost of your missing the opportunity to live!    

 

In most Indian homes, despite the best pest control methods available today, it is rare that you will not find lizards. Now, there are many people who grieve at the sight of a lizard. They are petrified of them and imagine horrible consequences of co-existing with them. They cringe and suffer all the time. But there are several million others, across the subcontinent, that just let the lizards be and they be themselves. Yes, everyone wishes that the lizards don’t present themselves in front of them, but when they know they can’t do pretty much anymore, they make their peace and move on. Pain is like the lizard in an Indian home. It just likes to hang round. And it doesn’t have a vicious agenda to terrorize you and make you feel miserable. You suffer because you hate its presence! The best way to deal with pain is to make your peace with it. Then, Life becomes worth living.

Yesterday, it was very relieving to see a young friend come to terms with Life, making peace with her pain, a year after her husband’s untimely passing away. She celebrated the fact that she had found Life worth living all over again! It will be both impractical and foolish to imagine that she will not have memories and she will not feel sorrowful whenever she reminisces. But acceptance is a gift you can give yourself that will, while not taking away your pain, will help you to live without suffering. The key operative word here is ‘to live’.

So, make a serious investment in the rest of your Life NOW. This is one investment that requires no gestation period to earn you a return. You invest and you harvest instantaneously. Stop grieving over what has happened so far. And stop worrying about what will happen. You will be unable to live if you focus on ‘What Was’ or “What Isn’t’ or ‘What If’. Life thrives only in the ‘What Is’ realm. You can live fully only IN your Nows. And it is never too late to start living (IN) them!