Reflectionon Family Values”You don’t choose your family. Theyare God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

” – Desmond TutuBeing at the age I am, I believe now that I have finallycome out of my cocoon, and the world is finally starting to make somewhat sense;I am becoming exponentially aware of my purpose and priorities in life, onebeing the importance of familial ties. Being born and bred in a country likePakistan, joint family systems were conventional and traditional householdset-ups are found everywhere. Joint family/Extended Family (alsoundivided family, joint household, extended family system) is a group ofconsecutive generations, sharing the same living space. I consider myselffortuitous to have spent a considerable chunk of my adolescence with not justmy immediate family, but extended too – particularly, my grandparents who weresages of wisdom. I had the chance to grasp new, thought-provoking ideas fromthem and incorporate them into my everyday-life. For this purpose, I hold myfamily values very dear and I believe that this commitment makes me the personI have shaped to become today.

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My culture and heritagegives immense relevance to importance of kinship and it goes without sayingthat over there, every other person’s ultimate goal in life is to do something substantialfor their loved ones. This non-individualistic approach has had a much positive,lasting impact on the societal system as the elderly are taken care of, womencan go work while grandparents babysit, there are no absent fathers and sharedvalues blossom affection and love for all members. In the West, notion oftraditional family system is eroding. I firsthand witnessed this, when Iarrived in U.S. The difference in cultures is staggering. Divorce is the normof the day, and its alarming rate sees no end.

In the U.S, almost every 2people out of every 10,000 get divorced. That’s shockingly about 876,000divorces every year.

Annulment of marital lives has been a direct outcome ofglobalization – driven by mass-media such as television, film and morerecently, internet that disseminates ideals of romantic-love, raising the barof expectations and setting yardsticks. Furthermore, another factor is establishmentof centralized governments in places that previously composed of smallautonomous societies. Governments daily make active attempts to mold new formsof traditional life in this industrial, capitalistic world. Most of the Westhas industrial-based economy, compared to the agrarian-one in the unprivilegedparts of the world which makes it feasible for families to live close whereas,industrial firms have disrupted family systems as men move to urban-areas tomake a better livelihood. We cannot overlook theintensity with which children are distressed by the disintegration of familybonds. Childrenliving with both biological parents are 20 to 35 percent more healthy, on bothphysical and mental terms compared to children with a single-parent. Havinggone through a similar situation, I can easily relate.

My parents got separatedwhen I was twelve years old, which resulted in some drastic changes in mypersonality and outlook. I cut off a lot of friends which plunged me 6 feetinto a pit of depression. But there was a silver lining to it, as due to thejoint family system, that time brought me close to my maternal grandparentswhich helped me to cope through it.

            Twoyears after this detachment, my parents resolved their issues and got back together.Even though the harsh time helped me grow a backbone, it is something that I believeno one deserves to face. Families should compromise, and always stick close togetherno matter what. Couples should sit, talk and settle on solutions rather thanfiling for a divorce as it can have adverse consequences.

Research by theBritish market research firm ComRes states that in a poll of young people aged14 to 22 whose parents were either divorced or separated, they found childrenwere performing worse on exams, struggled to finish homework, got into moretrouble at school, and were skipping classes. I believe that every child deserves to be lovedand taken care of, and all grandparents deserve to spend time with theirgrandchildren. Divorce is not a solution to any problem but itself creates alot more problems hence should be avoided at all costs.”Do you know why I never even considered becoming a divorce attorney? Because it’s beneath you?Becausethere are children involved.Whenpeople get caught up in divorce they often forget there are some things in lifethat are more important than money.” “Suits”,season 5 episode 4, 31:40-32:00.