Happy New Year: Who do you live for?

Happy New Year: Who do you live for?

I was chatting with one of my colleagues from an Indian background a while back about holiday plans when he came out with this brilliant reflection that I had to share.

He was talking about how his family’s holidays are always spent visiting relatives back in India. While he said this was good, he mentioned that at some point he also wants to travel around parts of Australia with his immediate family (wife and child).

He noted that in India, “you never live for yourself. You live for your parents and you live for your kids, but taking time for yourself is not done.” He then noted how in Australia, people take time for their parents, they take time for their kids, but they also take time to enjoy parts of life for themselves too.

I thought this was a very astute observation. There is a lot that could be unpacked from this too:

 – Australia is more individualistic
 – India has more of a shame culture, where the reputation of the collective is more important than the individual
 – India, being less developed, is more focused on survival than on leisure activities.
 – The above is beginning to change however, as the middle class proportion of India’s population increases.
 – Do Aussies really get the balance right? Many would suggest that not enough time is given to parents, especially as they age.
 – What else do live for – God? Things? Success?

However deep you want to go with the above, I think as the date turns over to the new year, it is well worth thinking about – how do you want to live your life? Who do you want to live it for? Where do you want to invest your time? For What? With whom?

I’ll leave the answers to you 🙂

Happy New Year!


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