Love Thy Neighbour!
How much is too much? It is difficult to assign a quantum when this question is thrown at you in the context of love and relationships. I have seen that more often it is people who accept to take up responsibilities are the ones to be blamed ultimately. Their lives are wrecked emotionally, mentally and physically. Because, they end up doing everything for everybody and they are sort of left with nothing for themselves. Is it unfair? Sure is! But who cares, things are happening smoothly for those who just throw a pile of mess on another person’s head and walk away merrily.
A friend told me that her mother was unwell, to an extent which is scary to even express. But, she had people calling her everyday and complaining about their own worries, something like they had migraine that day. She whatssap-ed me asking how this was fair? I understood perfectly what she was trying to express but I had no answer. I resonated, however, silence befell around me.
When I gave it a thought, it struck me that it is not that simple a problem. Normally, parents teach kids to be good, do good and all about good. But, some teach their kids to also get a hold on their lives firstly and then manage the rest. The rest who don’t share this magic potion are the kind of parents who are what I call the demigods on earth. What they want to do is simple: be available for the world all the time, regardless of gazillion personal matters they ought to solve first. They solve all the problems in this universe. I don’t really blame them for being so, as it is ingrained in their minds because their parents have taught to be so. Sadly, they did not taste that magic-potion I mentioned a little while ago.
What happens next? Such families give out the gold-picture. The head-of-the-family (fathers generally) beam with pride that society gives him credit to be “in-charge” of everything because he has the most understanding family. The wife always welcomes any number of guests with a smile and is never tired to make the hundreth cup of coffee even if she has chronic arthritis. The kids in such families are the ones who are obedient, disciplined, the famous head-bobblers who say ‘hello uncle/aunty’ every time a new guest walks in. After all guests walk out, unfolds the actual scene. Wherein the lady of the house is exhausted, the kids haven’t finished their homework because they spent all their time in saying hello. You see, constant influx of guests! They have to set the cooker just for one more time because it is finally them who are dining. Instead of a glass of wine, their side drink is endless whine.
Well, it is not the guest’s fault either. They think they have taken only half hour at their host’s place. They think it was just one cup of coffee/one lunch/one dinner/ one stay-over. How could it ever burden the host? Of course, this is what they innocently think. The catch here is that their logical explanation would make sense if it was just one guest. The host-house actually has to deal with 100 such guests every day.
So whose fault is it anyway? I am not sure. These families who chant the mantra of ‘athiti devobhava’ (guests are Gods) have been, are, and continue to be followers of this Great Indian Policy. They cannot salvage this situation. Because you see, they have a helpless need to help others, maintain stable guest-host-relationship sensex. And, talking against it is blasphemous. Because, as the Second Commandment says, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbour’. Period.