I do not care for many aspects of westernized, specifically Anglo culture. These include excessive materialism, comsumerism and even the level of individualism in Anglosphere countries, particularly in Britain and the United States. I want to draw attention to a particular stigma that exists in Anglo culture, namely the stigma against adult children who choose to live at home with their parents. Such individuals are the subject of shaming and I have a huge problem with that.
While I was sat in the care management waiting room, I couldn’t help but overhear Dr. Phil on television. His guests were a couple, one of whom was a blonde American lady, the other was an Indian (South Asian) man. She was complaining that he still lived with his parents and seemingly, the audience was on her side. I immediately didn’t like the fact that she was doing this, because I personally don’t have a problem with adults still living at home. It is none of anyone’s business but the adult child and the parents.
The man explained why he still lives with his parents. I didn’t catch all of what he said, because it was too noisy in the waiting area. But his reasons were of course, absolutely genuine and admirable. He said he worked for the family business and was trying to save money. When Dr. Phil asked him how much he was hoping to save, he replied “Five hundred thousand dollars”.. When he said that, the audience went silent for a moment, then suddenly the notion of a grown man living at home with his parents wasn’t so bad. I heard a chorus of “I’d date him” from several women in the audience. It was funny to see the girlfriend’s entire facial expression changed when her boyfriend whom she assumed was just a momma’s boy suddenly became a lucrative meal ticket. She was actually going to break up with him because he still lived at home.
The man was both smart and attractive. I thought he looked like a younger, Indian version of Johnny Depp in the movie The Ninth Gate. He had been to college and was financially stable. I’m sure that in countries and cultures where living at home with your parents isn’t stigmatized as it is here, he’d have been married off long ago. He wasn’t some sort of leech, both living with his parents and dependent on them.
Anyway, my point is that why is it so bad for an adult to choose to live with his or her parents? If everybody in the family gets along and the relationship between adult child and parent is symbiotic, what’s the problem? Living alone is expensive, wasteful and inefficient. Not everyone can live with roommates either and more often than not, toommate atrangements are short lived. Many people choose to live alone and enjoy it, but others suffer from extreme loneliness as a result. If I got along with my mum and she wanted me around, I would rather live with her than live alone. The way I’d see it is that we’d both be helping each other.
I’m sure that in other cultures, families take care of one another. I’m sure that it’s perfectly normal to find unmarried adult children still living at home in such cultures. By the same token, I’m sure that elderly people in such cultures are cared for by their families, rather than left to rot alone or in nursing homes. And in such cultures, family most likely means family, rather than a bunch of biologically related people who don’t give a crap about one another.
Having been in relaeuoships with mostly Latin people, I’ve experienced Latin culture. Growing up in the UK, I had several Indian and Pakistani friends over the course of my life there. Both cultures had a much stronger sense of family and I respected that. You don’t see elderly people in such cultures socially isolated and sent to die in nursing homes. I how that people of Latin and Asian cultures living in Anglosphere countries never lose their sense of family as this and future generations assimilate further.
Our culture could learn an awful lot from other cultures, but our arrogance in the belief that our way is the right way prevents us from learning and being open minded.