People have forgotten that the most important thing in life are spiritual values and not material things. It is time to change and begin to appreciate the simple things, such as family, love for our fellow man or nature itself.
How can you miss something you’ve never had?
Is the question that a mother makes her daughter in the novel The Joy Luck Club ( The Joy Luck Club ), Amy Tan The story deals with the difficult relationship of four Chinese women and their daughters.; the latter, educated in the United States. The central theme is the clash that exists between one and the other. The former were educated in China, in a traditional culture, where life revolves around honor and other cultural values, while the young women absorbed American customs. The novel does not try to judge which culture is better; It only explores the difficult relationship caused by the different values that each of the women in this story has.
One of those conflicts refers to the obsession of one of the daughters for having a device in which to listen to music. By denying her, the drama of her suffering arises, as does this mother’s question. Then the woman begins to tell her story to her daughter: she had two daughters, twins, and lived comfortably in a community in China. Her husband was in the military and lived in another city, because of his job. Political conflicts between China and Japan unleash a war. She only has to escape the city, before the Japanese invade the place. Determined, she takes a wheelbarrow in which she places some valuables and, of course, her two little daughters.
His road is long. Fatigue is conquering her. The load grows heavier; so day after day he leaves behind the things he once considered important. But the force is getting smaller. Abandon the truck; she takes her daughters, with a little food to give them. Later, she abandons the food as well. Hungry, full of sores and on the verge of dying from dysentery, she decides to abandon the only load that is really valuable to her : she places some jewelery among the girls’ clothes, as well as the photographs and data of these, in the hope of have someone find them, protect them, and then return them.
In that moment the question, “How can you miss what you’ve never had?” Makes sense. How can we feel bad about not having something material, when there are so many people in the world who have lost what really has some value: their family; maybe in a war, maybe because of illness.
In these times it seems to matter more what you have, than what you are
It is necessary to create awareness in our children about the true values of the human being. It is so sad, for example, to see young girls, whose self-worth, they feel, depends on a dress or shoes. They seek happiness outside of themselves, in material things that can never fill the void in their souls, because that void is only filled when we are full of love and hope. Happiness is not something material, but the little moments that satisfy our spirit.
Perhaps it is time to change, to go back to simplicity, to teach our children to value feelings more than things. That is why it is important:
That our children feel that the family is more important to us than the material. It’s not about stopping enjoying those things, but about not making them our main goal.
That we educate our children with values such as solidarity, generosity or love of others.
That we do not try to give them all the things they ask for, because we consider that they must have everything that we did not have when they were children. Sometimes denying them something does them good, because it can help them strengthen their tolerance for frustration and value what they have and what they don’t have.
Share small moments with the family to appreciate a sunrise, observe the stars or perhaps the nature that God bequeathed us.
Commit ourselves to some altruistic cause that teaches them that there are more important losses than a material loss; By helping people in need, it will be easy for them to understand how lucky they are with how little or how much they have.
We live in a consumer society in which the true values of the human being have lost popularity. Perhaps it is time to do something to recover them, starting in our home, and perhaps little by little it can spread to society itself.
(Amy Tan, The joy luck club – The club of the good star -, Editorial Planeta, 1989).