MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (Is it really a lost cause?)


“Even the ugly things become beautiful with time.”

I also begin this blog post with a disclaimer. Those who have read my other piece on marriage
where I raised questions on the institution (If you haven’t yet read it make sure you do), you
probably remember where my inspiration came from. Hold up!! Not that I am going to write
another piece from exactly the same source. This time I got my inspiration amid giggles and
laughter. I had the opportunity to finish the comedy series Blackish. If such Tv series are your
thing then you probably know how much laughter was involved (And don’t even get me started
on how many times I had to hit the pause and backward button).

It is a series that follows the day to day life of a black family. The Johnson family. The humor
arises from their daily interactions with each other and with their environment. At the end of the
film it left a positive impression on me.

One scene stood out. Taught me a lesson on life. This scene where the grandfather was narrating
to his grandchildren the history of their family tree. He was painting this picture of their great
grandparents as having been sort of pioneers and heroes in their respective fields back in the day
(Funny how it always seems to be like that?). Interesting part was when anyone attempted to cast
doubt on his story. He would first question them on who the storyteller was. Then in a rare twist
of things he would almost immediately introduce a character who resembled and fit the bill of a
liking of the doubter. And just like that they would suddenly be okay with the story and allow
him to carry on.

The road of life is full of twists and turns. Along the ways you are bound to encounter such kinds
of people. They may necessarily not believe in your dreams but could be simply that they don’t
like the story of your life. Instead of putting up resistance do what the grandfather did. Merely
give them a role in your life that spices up your life and that fits their bill of the things the love
doing. Problem solved. (Pardon me there. I digress, got a little carried away).

The family is under attack. Take a look at the statistics. The divorce rates have hit the ceiling.
Today there is even research into the ages we should specifically get married or otherwise it
spells doom for your marriage (Not that I am trashing such research).

The factors that affect marriage and family are also on the rise. Have you watched the news
lately? The world economic outlook is anything but gloom. What with the oil prices falling?
Some professionals are even predicting that we might be headed for a recession. Today we are
experiencing inflation and tomorrow we will be in a deflation (These cycles?). In the financial
circles they currently have this bad joke where they are claiming that currently there is blood in
the streets and it’s the best time to get into the market (The sheer irony). Then there are careers. We all are involved in one. And aren’t we all struggling to get to the peaks of our careers? At the
end of the day there is no money to sustain a family and no time left to first get into and second
work on that marriage.

The script of the film is not perfect. The creators did not go out on a limb to create a picture of
the perfect family. Far from it. They portrayed a normal family with their both good and bad
days. They laughed on their good days and cried on their bad days. The parents constantly
through dealing with their kids realized that parenting is not something that comes with a how to
manual. And they also realized that each one of their kids had their own special qualities. They
also came to see that their marriage was far from perfect. They also discovered that it takes a lot more than just the love they had for each to keep their thing going. It would take for them to have commitment in their marriage and their family. Marriage is not a bed of roses. How
many times have we heard that statement? (I guess not enough times).

We all naturally want perfection. The perfect husband. The perfect wife. The perfect kids. But
the imperfection of the family in the movie is eye opening to say the least. Instead of working
with what we have at our disposal we sit around waiting for the eureka moment when we will
find perfection. It will never happen. Take the imperfections and work with them through the
tears and laughter and make them your kind of perfect family.

As the first season was coming to a close, amid the laughter, not even sure whether I was still
thinking straight anymore I could not help wondering. Would I want to have my own family like
that one? Probably yes. Not because of anything else but the mere realization that one of the
most fundamental parts that keeps a family together is learning to work with the good and the
bad. The things that go on in the family if nothing else are supposed to reinforce the bottom line
which is the importance of a family.

What kind of family do you want?


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