HEART TO HEART
Sometime back, I got a chance to visit my son living abroad. I was glad to see his standard of living, particularly all the facilities my grandson had which I never experienced myself and couldn't provide to my children. Certainly, ours was really a hard time … but it was the best of times.
We visited few fancy places, most of them were restaurants and malls, which I had never seen before so I was mesmerised.
Their everyday life was so busy that nobody had time for anyone despite having the fastest means of communication.
My son and daughter-in-law were busy making money as they wanted to provide the best of everything to their son. My grandson kept himself busy playing video games on his latest tablet and watching TV.
One day, I decided to take him to the nearby park. He invited his friends also who were easily bored playing rugby because they were more into their mobiles than the game. I was happy that my grandson wasn't addicted to gadgets as his friends were.
I assumed that he wanted to play and talk, but no one had time for him. When everyone left, we walked along the bushes. We had a lot to share, so we talked even after the dusk fell.
I said, “You know, dear, when I was your age, we created toys instead of buying them.”
He looked astonished. I continued, "We used to play outside with few natural toys that explored our creativity. We listened to real stories and discovered real things in nature."
My grandson looked a bit intrigued and said. “Yeah, I have heard few stories from my parents and I often wondered about life without technology. Like, we can't imagine life without electricity, telephone and internet, so don't you think this development is for our betterment, Grandpa?”
“Up to a limit!” I replied, “You have the best of everything, fastest communication but no real conversations, expensive cars but less time to walk.
“It’s true we witnessed some of the deadliest wars, famine and drought – that was the worst of times. Even though there weren't many facilities, life was good when it came to giving time to our relatives. This was the beauty of that era and it was the best of times.”
“But, Grandpa,” he pointed out, “these days, we have workload of studies you didn't have then, lucky you!”
He continued. “We are already exhausted by the time we get home, so instead of going out to play we end up playing online games.”
I considered his words and replied, “That's an addiction, dear; you have to overcome it. I know it is difficult but once you get used to playing outside, you won't need extra time for that, but will spend extra time on creative and physical activities.”
“I did play all the games in my summer camp and I enjoyed it,” replied my grandson.
“Make it your routine, my son. Make your moments special by connecting with nature, a walk with real friends, a meaningful conversation at the dinner table with your parents….”
"I'll try to find likeminded friends. Wish me luck, Grandpa.”
“You'll, eventually,” I told him. “I know your era is different and we should live accordingly but technology should not affect relations. People should find time for each other and talk without having mobiles in their hands.”
My little grandson looked convinced. He has a flexible and loving nature. He was excited and told his parents what he had learned when he went out with me. That made my trip memorable and worthy.