Shankaran Pillai said, “I am going to marry Lucy from our neighborhood.”
The father said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? We don’t even know her parentage.”
His mother said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has no inheritance.”
The uncle said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She has such lousy hair.”
The aunt chipped in and said, “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She wears such terrible make-up.”
The little nephew also did his bit and said “What? You’re going to marry that lousy Lucy? She doesn’t know anything about cricket.”
Shankaran Pillai stood his ground and said, “Yes, I am going to marry Lucy because there is one big advantage.”
“What is it?” they all asked.
“She has no family.”
Why Do We Form Families?
When a child is born, it is not made to the extent that other creatures are made. It needs nurturing, training and molding. So the need for family arose. Family is a very supportive base for a human being to grow. But for many people, family does not become a support, it becomes a hurdle. It does not become an uplifting process, it becomes a way of entanglement, not because family is a problem, but because of the way you hold it.
Family is an example of how anything that is created for your wellbeing can be turned into a disadvantage. You see this happening in many different ways. For example, affluence should have been wellbeing, but most people use it like poison. Education should have been wellbeing, but educated people are the ones who are destroying the planet right now. What was given to us for wellbeing could have been the greatest blessings, but instead they are threatening the very existence of the human race.
Similarly, family, which should have been a support and a means for one’s growth, has become a process of entanglement and burden for many. Family is beautiful only when it operates in a certain way, otherwise it can become the most terrible thing.
Family is Not About Duty
A family does not mean dependence, it is a certain partnership that you formed. Partnerships are relevant only when both the people are willing and they are going in a certain direction together. If both the partners are constantly concerned about each other’s wellbeing, partnership is meaningful. If it is all about you, either in terms of family or in terms of profession or in terms of spirituality – whichever way – partnership is irrelevant for such a person. If you stay together you will create a big mess for both the people.
You do not stay in a family because of duty. You stay in a family because there is a bond of love that you have formed. If there is a bond of love no one needs to tell you what to do and what not to do. You will do what is needed.
Aspiring for More
But just because you formed a bond of love with someone or a group of people does not mean you should not aspire for something more in your life. The best thing that you can do to people around you is, you make yourself in the greatest possible way a human being can be. You must pursue that. The more you evolve, the more you contribute to people around. If people do not understand this, if they think that the only way they can have you is for you to be stuck on the same level as them – with the same limitations and the same problems and you should not seek freedom beyond that – then that is not a family, that is a mafia. If you are running a mafia of how to extract something from each other, that is not a family. How to give the best to each other, that is a family.
Editor's Note: Sadhguru shares the keys to forming lasting and joyful relationships, whether they are with husband or wife, family and friends, with colleagues at work or with the very existence itself in this ebook, "Compulsiveness to Consciousness."