In India, there exists a culture of Joint Family System. “Joint Family” means the parents alongwith with the families of their children live together in a single household unit, which may include 2 or 3 generations. Even though the numbers are reducing rapidly, the culture of “Joint Family” system still exists in many pockets of this great country. I am lucky to be a part of the “Joint Family” system. There are common expenses like electricity, provisions, etc. The source for expenditure of the family comes from the pooling of the willing contributions from all the earning members as per their comfort. There are no grudges or murmurs as each one know the situation of the other. Each individual family within the whole joint family is free to do whatever one likes and there is absolutely no compulsion/restriction on anybody. Many do not appreciate that the “Joint Family” system is a free insurance against any calamity. There is no doubt that those individuals from “Joint Family” system will definitely have higher social/emotional quotients due to the nature of living in such an environment.

WELL…here are some of the beautiful PROS and some CONS, which can be overcome, of being a part of a “Joint Family” system.

PROS

  1. There are more number of members in a joint family and hence, there is no question of loneliness. Loneliness KILLS, especially in old age. Probability of mental diseases reduces drastically, if not nil. Presence of older members ensures that COMMUNICATION WILL HAPPEN and any introvert in the family will automatically be made available in the main stream.
  2. More brains can be put to use for taking any important decision. The knowledge of a group (not a crowd) is always better than the knowledge of a single person. Different viewpoints, diversity of ideas, etc. Decision taken after healthy discussions makes the decision a good one. It is like IMMUNITY from bad decisions.
  3. Household works are shared and delegated among the experts in their respective fields.
  4. Responsibilities are imposed and made to be learnt for the younger generation in a natural way. No need for spending for specialization in “B” Schools, other than for a fancy degree or job.
  5. Lesser expenditure as the same is shared among earning members in the family. So more money for savings and investment.
  6. Strong roots in culture – high self esteem due to knowledge. More celebrations -positive environment, knowledge of old home simple remedies – less medical expenditure.
  7. There is a beauty in freedom with discipline.
  8. Any one in the family can go on travel for tourism or religious purposes at any time without having to think about looking after a sick or old family member, as there will be other members to take care of them.

CONS

  1. It is difficult for people from lower economic strata to have a joint family in cities due to the cost of ownership for too much space, unless they are already settled there. There may also be lesser space available for rent and nowadays flats or houses are being built only with a maximum of 4 or 5 members in mind. There are other practical aspects of family members undertaking jobs or businesses at different places.
  2. The primary concern for the newlyweds would be of privacy. This need not be a concern, if a separate room is allotted for them in the places like terraces or top floors, where no one can disturb them.
  3. Some members may feel as left out or that he or she is overburdened. This should never happen and if unfortunately it happens, the same has to be immediately addressed and it has to be ensured that all are in the mainstream and no one is overburdened. Further, each individual should be allowed to have his/her freedom, without which the system cannot happen.
  4. Each human has a brain and each has his own thoughts or opinions. The difference in the opinions should not render the “unity of purpose” to be defeated. It is better to live separately than to live in a joint family, if anybody feels suffocated. This may happen if ego overwhelms a person due to inferiority complex. Hence, being simple or humble or mentally without any baggage (i.e.without prejudice) is very important.

Well…I am LUCKY…

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