A very dear person, and a mother of a close friend from a prominent family just passed away, and I did not go from Minneriya to funeral as it was held the same day. I said I would come to the Dana, but then was told they are NOT having one, and will provide a meal for the needy.
It got me thinking, as I have written extensively for 8 years in this blog, on ways to improve the quality of life of those who live in Sri Lanka. I have seen the phenomenal waste of money Sri Lankans like to make a habit of in areas that are NOT obligatory, but really discretionary, but society has deemed obligatory.
Even this word discretion has been bastardized, I know not why, to suit societal norms, that are indirectly quite illogical, and non-sensical.
As I said earlier, in a Dana whether it is a 7 day, 3 month or 1 year and the future ones in memory, are usually carried out at home, following the Bana, more as an obligation preceding to indulge in gross orgfest!
The poor host in villages is left with more sugar, and powdered milk (the standard offering in these instances) all imported, than they know what to do with. This will no doubt hasten their deaths as diabetes and poor nutrition are the biggest NCD pests affecting us Sri Lankans today.
So when the huge bill of the caterers, even in villages who take the orders for the food, where people seem to feel obliged to fill their plates and waste the food uneaten and therefore thrown out, a unforgivable waste. This additionally pauperizes the grieving family, who have undoubtedly lost a source of income, as the dead person was most likely to be the breadwinner, who succumbed to a heart attack or cancer unable to cope with the stress and strain of life. The implication being that an older person who dies may get away with it, as there are few of her vintage to come, and so the crowd is less anyway, and by implication the bread winners death results in a far greater perceived obligation, and people deemed necessary to attend.
When one therefore evaluates the quality of life(QOL), the pain of obligation being removed, definitely improves the QOL of those who don’t have to carry this burden. This obligation is also on close relatives and friends of the deceased and their families, to come to the event, sometimes from afar adding to their burden to fulfill the obligation. Then the pressure on the dead person’s family to invite those, who if NOT invited maybe slighted by not receiving an invitation, is another burden. This is a triple whammy against these people on the Quality of Life Stakes!
I just picked this example to show that some of our obligations and duties in society, have resulted in a poorer QOL. SO a simple rule of thumb to improve the QOL index of those who live in this resplendent Isle, is to do what you like, and want, and NOT because is it is expected of you under some unwritten obligation.
The person is dead dammit let him rest in peace without his family being subjected to further trauma.\
What a difference a word change makes to life, dump obligation, and replace by optional, DONE and DUSTED – Lets DO IT!!!!!