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Dysfunctional is the New Normal June 4, 2011

Posted by Nemuu in Stuff I Wride.
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Family. What a boring topic. Who in their right mind would choose to watch a lame family comedy over an epic romance film? After all, family stopped being so great when dysfunctional became the new normal. Divorce rates are climbing higher, working parents shower their children with more money than time and grandparents are abandoned in Old Folks’ Homes. If you’re a kid, then hanging out with friends is way cooler than spending time with your parents.

Things used to be different in the past, didn’t they? People used to care more about the pride and honour of their family than romance; hence, the term ‘star-crossed lovers’. Nowadays, everybody’s looking for their own Shakespeare story. And who can really blame them? We grow up to the tune of Disney’s fairytales: Prince Charming rescues Cinderella from the horrid life at home with her step-family; Snow White is saved from her step-mother’s curse with True Love’s first kiss; Ariel finds escape from the clutches of her over-protective father with Prince Eric. Romantic love is being over-emphasised at the expense of family love, putting it way back in the shadows and, have you noticed there always seems to be something wrong with the protagonists’ family?

Clearly, the family today is under-appreciated for all its majesty. These days, everyone wants to follow the lead of Romeo and Juliet: it’s all about self and ‘true love’ before family. Did you forget how that story ends? You only end up killing yourself – an unnecessary death, if I might add.

Even in the working world, having a family is often seen as a distraction, a sign of weakness. More often than not, single women are presented with greater opportunities than working moms. For some weird, inexplicable reason, people at the top seem to think that just because you have extra mouths to feed at home, that makes you less capable. It couldn’t possibly be a motivation for you to work even harder. In fact, the only way being a family man can be seen as a good thing is if you’re a politician. Having a happy family somehow becomes a pre-requisite, a job requirement – apparently, a man’s ability to lead his country is judged by his ability to keep his family together.

Perhaps the reason why people appreciate romance more than family is this: the former isn’t always something we can have, while the latter is something everyone has, whether dead or dysfunctional or not. The children of today always feel the need to one up each other. Since everybody naturally has a family, then that’s really no basis for comparison. So instead, we turn to romance, when what we really need to do is treasure what we already have. Because that which we have, we take for granted. Always.

Family is like the sky that shelters you or the ground you step on – it’s been there for as long as you can remember. So long, in fact, that you’ve already forgotten the beauty you used to see in it.



1. diana - June 4, 2011

This is an amazing post hanim, my favourite from you so far. It’s beautiful, relevant & so well thought out & articulated. ❀

Nemuu - June 5, 2011

Thanks babe! πŸ™‚ Took me hours planning and penning it down at starbucks. After so much thinking and writing, it woke me up to appreciating my own family more. πŸ™‚ Hope that I might be able to produce works that inspire people someday.

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