Amazon has filed for a futuristic Patent No 9, 778,653 & it is called ‘systems devices and methods delivering energy using an autonomous vehicle’ for a drone which could recharge an electric car on the move. The technology to charge a moving car through a drone hovering over it is nowhere close to being created but it could be a fact of the future being envisioned by likes of Bezos & Musk.
Similarly, we need to think about families of the future.
“What was the ceiling five years ago is going to be the floor five years from now,” said Malcolm Frank of Cognizant.
I wish to apply this principle of Chaotic Change to our families.
Are our families already changing? No and Yes.
No, because the jobs that a family does are not changing at the moment (I can imagine changes in the future). Yes, because the way these jobs get done is certainly changing.
Let me figure out the jobs of a family. What does a family provide to its members physically, emotionally, socially, creatively?
- I get a secure home, stability with facilities due to my family. All the material requirements that need money are fulfilled by the family. Vinita Bali, a veteran business leader who has worked with MNC’s across the world, says, “The biggest asset of my childhood was that it was a secure childhood without any dramatic happenings. That made me a very secure and balanced person.”
This feeling of security will change if the family stops doing the job of providing security & stability.
With divorce rates rising above 50% in most of the American and European countries and the crude marriage rate declining to an all-time low, less and less people are marrying and even lesser intend to stay married.
So, stability and security within marriage are reducing. More and more children, born out of crumbling unions or very temporary unions will be filling the world. *
2. Family prepares the children for their future by educating them, encouraging them, nurturing them and giving them a social stature.
Meher Pudumjee, Chairperson of Thermax Ltd, shares that her parents gave prime importance to her education and encouraged her to study anything that interested her. It was special because she, despite being a girl was encouraged to study science while her parents were fine with her brother enjoying cooking and embroidery. Only a family with growth mindset could do this.
This encouragement and freedom will change either if the family stops providing the nurturing and freedom or children stop needing it.
Modes of education are changing. Accessibility to knowledge and ease of its application is reducing the need for educational and social support. Maybe, children of the future will educate themselves anytime, anywhere and the need of families might dwindle.
3. The family keeps us human by giving us love, a sense of belonging and a feeling of being dutiful in return.
Naveen Jain, Founder of Viome and Moon Express, says that his biggest achievement in life is raising his amazing children and not being a visionary entrepreneur. He is more proud of his children than his professional achievements.
This sense of belongingness will change either if family stops being that source of giving love or we start living like a lonely island.
Technology is making it very convenient to break boundaries of families and intruding into the safe spaces. If children will not be able to look up to their parents, if the couple will be suspicious of each other, families will not be able to give love and a sense of belonging.
4. Families support us to surpass the odds and reach for the stars. Situation within our families (positive or negative) spark our creativity to catapult beyond imagination.
Vikram Seth, the celebrated Author could write freely because his mother discovered his sensitivity at a very young age and stood by his choices at every cost. This creative push will change if, families stop being the one stop shop for growth or we stop looking at families for the same.
Most of the families will change. Only exceptionally committed and disciplined families will survive. They will keep doing the jobs they are supposed to do.
We can patent our own family by balancing the positives of the past and present to enter the future.
We will need families to stay human.
*The crude marriage rate is the number of marriages taking place per thousands in a geographical population in a year.