Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Feb 2017
One of the distinct memories I’ve from my past is that our family had membership in at least three different international clubs, the branches of which existed in our hometown. The evenings and celebrations we had with the club activities were quite eventful. Being an international club, social drinking was considered a norm at these clubs.
As a little kid, I very clearly remember majority of the men there drinking with the exception of my dad and a few other elders. I recollect my mom telling my brother and me that dad very particularly followed the principle of not drinking in public and also in front of us, with the primary intention that he wanted us to grow up as responsible adults. Looking back, I really want to thank him for instilling that value and being a strong role model for me!
Fast forward a couple of decades and the actions from some people I see around makes me feel painful. I want you to picture this. Imagine you are a fifteen year old girl in your family get together where your dad is seated on a stage facing everyone. How would you feel if he keeps cracking a lot of X-rated jokes and sarcastic comments? Imagine your plight if you have to remain there in the room all embarrassed but forced to stay since your family members are seated around you?!
You may think the above scene I pictured is out of a fiction movie. In reality, this and many more are happening in the big bad digital world out there today. I’m talking about WhatsApp groups which are a part of our daily lives these days. Many of us when we forward a message or post something to the group see only the screen and not the picture I painted above. Would you really have spoken those words if you were in a room with the whole of your family looking at you? Would you really have posted a picture that you would’ve normally hidden from our innocent little ones?
The fact of the matter is, with the digital world spreading its arms even more in the current world, most of us have a digital personality along with our physical self. This digital personality of yours does not realize that you are doing things that you would’ve never done if you had to do it in front of the same set of people, in person. I you wouldn’t want your teenage daughter to hear you pass a very ludicrous comment when she is standing in front you and facing you, why would you do the same over a digital media like WhatsApp? What makes you a lesser dad when you are not face-to-face with your daughter? The same applies to any relationship.
I personally have a strong desire that I cherish. Just like how my dad and other elders in my family were role models to me, I would want my kids and other little ones in my family to look up to me and learn the good side of mine, if any. This will enable them to become better human beings for sure. I pray to God that let me never be a reason for someone to turn out to be a burden for the society.
And this is what is resonated in Mathew 18:9. “…And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It's better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Ask yourself these questions. Are you living a life different in social media than what you are in real life? Will you talk to your parents or siblings or kids in the exact manner as what you do over WhatsApp or Facebook? If the answer is no, then it is time for an introspection. If the answer is yes, you’ve a bigger problem to tackle!
Sit back and think about all the good role models that you had in your life and how have they influenced you to form the personality that you have today. Now think again if you are being one, to the members of your family or are you being something else?
In other terms, are you being a ‘troll model’ whose sole objective is to create controversies and provoke response from people? Alternately are you being a role model for generations to come and for them to hold their head high and proclaim to the world about their ancestor who was an awesome human being?
Think! God bless!