Monetising Relationships ?

Do we build relationships based on the monetary value of the person we are relating to ? It looks like that today. Whether within the family or with other friends, colleagues and relatives, we seem to build relationships based on our perceived value of the other person in economic terms.

It may not be true for all relationships but is increasingly becoming a trend. It is sad but is a stark reality in today’s material world. Relationships are meant to be unconditional and based on love and mutual respect. But today, we tend to measure the worth of a person only in money terms.

I do agree that this is not yet a universal truth. But I sometimes wonder why is it increasingly becoming the truth rather than an exception. It may be because of our materialistic instincts. We are increasingly valuing life in material terms.

We spend our whole life time accumulating wealth. There may be nothing wrong if it is done the ethical way. However, the danger is when wealth becomes the barometer for valuing relationships. How can one value your parents, siblings, colleagues or friends in monetary terms ?

We hear stories every day in the newspapers where parents are suing their children or the other way around. We see siblings filing cases against each other over property matters. Everything ultimately appears to be valued only in money terms. Children not caring for their parents or parents throwing away their kids from home.

All this leads to the basic question – how do we value relationships ? In my view relationships are to be based on love, respect or gratitude. I cannot imagine any relationship which is based on wealth. The moment love, respect or gratitude is missing in a relationship, it is bound to break or turn sour.

We need to realise that life is short and we need to make it sweet. We need to build relationships based on unconditionality. The moment we relate to someone with an ulterior motive, it is bound to fail. Relationships have to be natural to blossom and prosper.

In the past, we have heard of relationships which have survived generations. We have heard of businesses run based on mutual trust with no formal contract or agreement between partners. We have heard of life long partnership between friends, relatives and colleagues. This means all this possible and even prevalent today. It only means that we need to make it happen.

The day we build relationships based on mutual respect and unconditional love, it is bound to prosper. The day we are willing to contribute more than we get without any expectations in return, it is likely to succeed. Success or failure in a relationship is based on the unconditionality in that partnership.

All religions have taught us to respect the person and not their possessions. We seem to be carried away by valuing the wealth of a person rather than the love they shower on us. The day we respect the other person and love them rather than their financial position, we value the person and not their materiality.

I am happy that my relationship with my spouse has been unconditional and we liked each other irrespective of our material possessions, at every stage of our life.

Let us resolve to demonetise Relationships forever.

S Ramesh Shankar

2nd September 2018

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