Why do I believe in freedom?

by on September 5, 2012

In chatting with a group of youngsters yesterday, one of them said that she wished her parents were as broad-minded as I am. I wish so too. However, when I asked her, “Why do you want freedom?” she had no answer. She simply said, “So I can do as I please.”

 

Is that how some perceive freedom, as the ability to do as you please? To while away your time if you please, to be footloose and fancy-free if you so please. Is it the freedom to be irresponsible or is freedom connected to becoming truly responsible. What do you want? To be mind-less or to clearly apply your mind because it is now yours. Can you do that, my dear youngster? Otherwise, are you better off without that freedom?

 

Believe in Freedom and responsibility

When my daughter stood before us with the person she wanted to spend her life with, we asked her two questions: “Do you truly believe that you will be happy with him? Do you truly believe that you will be happy with his family?” We as parents just need to see if the answer to these two questions is a thoughtful and happy nod. I believe that the rest will be taken care of, by life at large.

 

However much I believe in freedom, I understand that a marriage is not just the bonding of two hearts, but also with the two families. In fact, the more I believe in freedom, the more I see the value of these larger structures. Where thoughts can be exchanged and responsibilities be shared.

 

We must not only teach our children about freedom, we must also teach them the value of freedom. It is as much about responsibility as it is about freedom. The freedom to think for oneself bears the responsibility to create better choices. Along with the freedom to choose for yourself, is the responsibility to create a better life.

 

That is all. I rest my case.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mugdha September 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

Just Superb….:-)

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ganeshputtu September 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Awesome Pratibha…but…i have a small issue with the second question you asked your daughter…in these days of nuclear families right from the start of marriage- getting along with each others families is not that big an issue anymore…while getting along with the spouse itself is fraught with so many problems…i speak frim my experience of my immediate circle and i see so many friends of mine opting to move away from their parents and start their individual households right from day one of their marriage- and of course with full agreement of their parents- who too feel that this early responsibilty will help their children and also offer them privacy to get to know each other…times change, cultures change and new customs keep coming up…if even two people stay together without divorcing for atleast three years- thats considered a successfull marriage nowadays…sorry to be cynical- buts thats the truth..its all about rights now- no more duties.

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Pratibha Jain September 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hi Ganesh Puttu, thanks for your comment. To me, it is about being a feel-good factor with the family, whether one lives with them or not. Whether one is excited about meeting them and spending time with them. Perhaps sounds idealistic to you, but to me, it is basic to any sense of joy about life.

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Aruna September 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Agree with Pratibha, Irrespective of whether you stay with your in-laws or away from them, you still need to get along with them. Each one of us are brought up in a certain way and our families are to a great extent influences it. You need to figure out if the upbringing is similar to that of yours – the value systems are similar or not and so on as these things invariably affect your relationship not just with them but with your spouse too! Therefore, Pratibha is right in asking her daughter the second question.

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Mimi August 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Pedatha’s green book came to me as a wedding anniv gift from Prabodh & Mira Jain. It ltihgs up my mumbai life with a tasty dish. My family too loves the taste. Pratibha & Jigyasa you’ve really done good work. Prabodh, compliments on the book design!

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