The bus stopped at a traffic light to let the pedestrians cross and then I saw an old lady (if my guess is right she must be 90) with a push stroller full of grocery crossing the road. She was frail, was struggling to cross – conscious of the traffic that had stopped by and had a sadness on her face that was visible. The loose skin had a story to tell of the number of moons she had seen and what all she had gone thru in life.
She took 7 minutes to cross the road and disappeared.
Then it struck me – The reason why the developed countries are going through this present avatar of economic crisis, credit-crunch, mortgage delinquencies etc.
And it’s got nothing to do with economics, stock markets or risk management.
It’s got to do with the changing social order.
The lack of responsibility has percolated through the system. A few decades ago when families were joint, people were responsible and answerable to each other. The head of the family had a say. The answerability was in every aspect of life. Finances. Relationships. Men and ladies married to make marriages last. Raise children. Take care of children and so on.
Somewhere something snapped. People stopped being responsible and answerable to each other. Youngsters went away on their own – early in life. Families became nuclear. Elders were left alone while kids went on to have their own life and freedom. Teachers and elders were no longer addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Relationships became casual. Formality vanished. Responsibility vanished.
Spouses redefined their relationships. Spouses no longer remained spouses. They became live-in partners. Nomenclatures like friend, partner, fiancée, girlfriend, all acquired different meanings according to individual conveniences.
Divorce was no longer a stigma. Breaking up and making up and breaking up became a fashion. The new generation calls it ‘experience’, ‘my-life’, ‘my freedom’, ‘space’.
And this triggered the breaking of the bond. Bonding became weak. When family bonding becomes weak so do all other bonds.
Bonding with your banker
Bonding with your lender
Bonding with your friends
Bonding with the society
Answerability to all these above relationships too has diminished to negligible.
And carelessness becomes a genetic makeup.
And that’s why people just prefer to walk away from a mortgage rather than pay.
Overspend rather than save for a rainy day.
Walk away from a difficult marriage rather than make effort and stay.
Have life and make decisions where elders have no say.
And that’s why world is at its present Mayday.