Dear Modern Man: Why Are You So Selfish? Can’t You Be More Like Your Dad And Granddad?

Sanaya Khan Sanaya Khan in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 18 April, 2018

We women experience so many struggles every day with all the different aspects of our lives. We all play the roles of a daughter, sister, student, teacher, colleague, wife, friend etc. in our lives. Sometimes we play different roles at different times of our lives. Often we play multiple roles at the same time. We all pursue different careers too.

We never cringe when we have to shoulder all the responsibilities that are associated with these roles. We never ever give up on our relationships. We don’t worry or feel frustrated when things don’t work out in our favour. And we don’t even think of backing out of our relationships. We don’t lock ourselves behind closed doors and stage a drama when we don’t get what we want.

Why do we compromise so much? Why is it so important for us to maintain the peace within the family? For whose sake do we do tolerate so much pain and agony? Perhaps we do all this because we love someone. But does that person acknowledge the compromises and sacrifices that we make for them? Why does he never realize what we are doing for them? Why is this person so ungrateful? Does a thought like “I may lose her” even occur to him?

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Doesn’t he know that life is too short for all of us and that we too may want to live our life our way?

I think we need to take a look at the lifestyles of our ancestors to understand the difference between the men of our earlier generations and the men of modern times.

Our ancestors were blessed with a peaceful life. Their wives were as compassionate as the women these days are. The difference between the men of their times and the men of today is their M-E-N-T-A-L-I-T-Y. The men of the earlier generations were very compassionate and caring.

They believed in being kind to others. This created an aura of dignity around them. They did not have great looks but they always looked good.
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Modern men are just obsessed with their clothes. Men in those days never bothered to change their shirts when they went to work. They had just a couple of shirts and they wore it every alternate day. In fact, they would just iron the same shirts every day so that it looked new. They ensured that their clothes were always neat, tidy and odourless.

Whenever my mom and her cousins tell me about such things I feel so proud of the men who belong to these generations.

Compare this to the men these days. They use branded shirts, trousers and perfumes to create a classic look for themselves. Suddenly it has become very important for a man to look great all the time. All men belong the same species called human beings. They both have the same kind of a body and the same kind of a heart.

Then why is it that only the men of our generation are so obsessed with looking ‘prim and proper' all the time? Were our ancestors not ‘prim and proper' enough?

The attitude and the mentality of modern men continue to puzzle me. I am sure most of them will curse me after reading this article. I just want to make them think about such things.

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Our ancestors were very professional too. But I really think that modern men have taken professionalism to a completely new level.

My paternal grandfather was very dedicated towards his work and his home. He managed to balance both these aspects of his life so well. When I look at such people I wonder how they managed to achieve this level of perfection in their lives. Perfection was not just a myth for them. It was like the icing on the cake.

Their lives had that perfect blend of professionalism and perfection.

I am wonderstruck when I hear about their life experiences. Their personalities mesmerize me and give me goosebumps. They believed in leading a structured and organized life.

They too had difficult times in their lives but their struggles were a part of their lives and added a touch of beauty to their personalities.

Modern men, on the other hand, are knocked over by their most trivial struggles. They bury their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the reality. Men these days simply do not possess the managerial skills that our ancestors had. They are highly disorganized, selfish, arrogant and ruthless beasts. It is difficult to imagine them holding a respectable position in a growth-oriented platform.

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They will do exactly what they say. They will eat whatever they want and they will walk out of relationships whenever they want. There is no sincerity in them.

Also most men these days tend to suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and this makes them indulge in selfish activities.

They end up cluttering their lives with meaningless pursuits.

 Men who belonged to our previous generations were fine human beings. They had a divine aura around them.

I often wish they were still around to see the mess that the men of today are creating for all the women who are a part of their lives.

We all pursue different careers and are unique human beings. We all have a life, a family, a home, a job, friends etc. Yet most men feel they are always stuck with the wrong people and are saddled with unnecessary responsibilities. When we ask them to give us definite and genuine reasons for why they feel that way – they will say that they are being forced to follow the systems created by their ancestors so they cannot opt out of it. They have always seen the women managing the household and they have always seen the men working round the clock to feed the family.

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At such times the question that I want to ask them is – Are they working hard to feed the family or to lead a luxurious lifestyle?

When did the concept of ‘earning money to enjoy a luxurious and wealthy lifestyle’ take over the desire to ‘feed the family’?

If this is the scenario now – I shudder to think of what will happen to our forthcoming generations. Will they follow the same trend or put a stop to it?

One thing worries me a lot these days. I dread the day when my own children will come to me and tell me that they too desire to be filthy rich so that they too can have many branded cars, clothes, accessories, perfumes etc. I don’t mind their desire to have all this.

But I think it should not come at the expense of compromising on the value system that our ancestors have passed on to us.
Let’s look at it this way. Our ancestors too had their fair share of desires. But they reined in their desires for the sake of the larger good of the family. They did not realize their dreams at the expense of the family peace. More often than not they overlooked their own dreams and buried all their desires for the happiness of the family.

It is the beauty of a man's heart that makes him generous enough to nurture the happiness of his family. A kind-hearted man will always compromise on his happiness to wipe out the tears of his family.

Such men have beautiful hearts because a sense of generosity is instilled in them right from their childhood days. Such men will never ever let down a woman let alone their families.

Such men are still a part of our real world. They are not just a part of all the fairy tales that we read as children. These kinds of men faced the harsh realities of life squarely. They too tasted the bittersweet truth of reality. Look around you. You will still find plenty of men who have a family of their own and you will always be guaranteed a peaceful life if you choose to live with them.

Modern men waste their precious time in wishful thinking. They work round the clock to fulfil their lofty goals and still feel empty. All their hard earned money is invested in buying luxurious things which give them a sense of comfort. But they will not use a single penny to help others.

They are so selfish that it is next to impossible for them to use their hard earned money on anything else except themselves.

Men stoop to any level to achieve their selfish desires. They think only about their lifestyle, their career, their wardrobe, their health and their wealth.

This is the only picture that they have in their minds so they are unable to see the larger picture of their lives.

It is never too late to bring about a change in their attitude. But I wonder if they really want to change at all. They all have the ability to create a better future for themselves but do they really want to change and see the bigger picture of their lives, in the long run, is the question that we need to ask them. Of course, the answer lies in their hands, hearts and minds alone.

Editor's Note:

Maybe we end up creating a faulty perception in our minds and hearts when we compare the people of two generations. Perhaps all youngsters progress from selfishness to selflessness over a period of two or three decades. Maybe our grandparents too were selfish when they were our age. Maybe modern men too will grow up to realize the worth of selfless service. Let’s share this story and learn to look at the beauty that is embedded within all human beings.