I bumped into this fascinating story on social media:
I had spent an hour in the bank with my dad, as he had to transfer some money. I couldn’t resist myself and asked,
“Dad, why don’t we activate your internet banking?”
“Why would I do that?” he asked. “Well, then you won’t have to spend an hour here for things like money transfer. You can even do your shopping online. Everything will be so easy,” I told my dad as I was so excited about initiating him into the world of Net banking.
He asked, “If I do that, I won’t have to step out of the house?”
“Yes, yes,” I said. I told him how even grocery can be delivered at door now and how Amazon delivers everything. His answer left me tongue-tied.
He said, “Since I entered this bank today, I have met four of my friends. I have chatted a while with the staff who knows me very well by now. You know, this is the company that I need. I like to get ready and come to the bank. I have enough time it is the physical touch that I crave. Two years back I got sick, the store owner from whom I buy fruits came to see me and sat by my bedside. When your mom fell down some years ago while on her morning walk, our local grocer saw her and immediately got his car to rush her home as he knows where I live. Would I have that human touch if everything became online? Why would I want everything delivered to me and force me to interact with just my computer? I like to know the person that I’m dealing with and not just the ‘seller.’ It creates bonds of relationships. Does Amazon deliver all this as well?” END OF STORY.
So true. Because technology doesn’t make life – it’s people.
And this is also true with regard to family relations. In our highly- wired society, it seems that the more we are CONNNECTED ONLINE, the more we are PERSONALLY DISCONNECTED with our loved ones.
Regardless of whatever valid reasons for family members to be physically separated, there is no substitute for personal presence and interaction, not just virtual, with our loved ones.
It is quite ironic to observe, however, that family members who are living together spend more time with their digital gadgets than in talking with each other, and taking for granted each other’s presence.
It isn’t an unusual scene anymore for some families to sit around their dining tables, instead of talking to each other they are all busy fiddling with their cellphones and gadgets, totally unmindful of each other’s presence. Gone are the days when dinnertime was an opportunity for family members to exchange pleasantries and enhance family ties.
More often than not too, we opt to just send a message online or digitally, never mind that we are capable of personally visiting our aging parents.
The paradox of it all is, once the mother or father dies, only then would the children beat their chest in utter regret for failing to appreciate their parents’ presence while they were still alive. Only then would they realize they missed precious moments to be with their parents, to hug them and the countless opportunities to express their love and cherish their presence.
The following quote from an anonymous source is truly a spot on:
“When I die, don’t come to my grave to tell me how much you love me and how much you miss me, because those are the words I wanted to hear while I’m still alive.”
Life is short. While time permits, let’s spend it beautifully, meaningfully, happily and MEMORABLY with the people who matter most to us.