I am seeing this all the time now…
Parents of little children, or even older children, who are too busy working to pay much, if any, attention to their families.
Call it a disease of the industrial revolution + information technology.
Whether people worked on the assembly line making widgets or nowadays on the computer and smartphone answering their bosses and colleagues compulsively–it’s become a global obsession.
On one hand, with the impending robot and AI revolution taking over jobs, people need to be grateful to even have a job to earn a living for the families.
On the other hand, with the connections to each other and our work 24/7, the depression-era saying of:
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Has morphed into:
Brother, can you spare some time?
Yes, we all need to be responsible adults, earn a decent living and pay our bills.
But in the end, it’s not money or things that we give to our families that is the most important.
I would argue money and things are the least important, and what is truly most precious is the love, time, and attention you give to yours.
As the old saying goes:
Money can’t buy love.
But time and attention given to your loved ones can build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and beyond.
Yes, of course, people need to work to earn a living and productively contribute something to society, but it is also true that work is used as an excuse to run away from parental and familial responsibilities.
It’s easier to give an Amazon gift certificate or a Gameboy then to actually spend the afternoon with the kids.
These days, people say ridiculous things like:
I love going into the office to get away from home.
But you can’t run away from your problems at home–you need to work on them and solve them.
The diabolical murderous Nazis used work as a tool to enslave, torture, and exterminate their victims as the sign over the gate of the Auschwitz (and many other) concentration camps read:
Arbeit Macht Frei (or Work Sets You Free)
But as we all know inside, true freedom is being able to give generously from your time and effort to your loved ones, and slavery is not being able to let go of your work.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)