Sunday, February 21, 2010

Freedom.... a chance to be better

Mr. Albert Camus, a French Novelist who has been awarded Noble Prize for Literature once quoted 'Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better'

If we ask anyone what’s the meaning of freedom, all they have to do is look for the word freedom in the dictionary and they'll find its meaning instantly. One would probably even say I'm free... if I can go out and go home whenever I want to; if I can sleep very late; if I can hang out with my friends rather than doing my chores; If one couldn't do what he wants, then for him, he is being deprived of his freedom.

Everything on earth has a deep meaning which humans should understand by heart, if not then everything would be worthless. Freedom is the right or the capacity of self-determination, as an expression of the individual’s will. But it can never exist independently, because freedom has its own obligations.

Freedom and obligation has a mutual understanding that no human can break. One can never be called free if he violates or ignores what he is obliged to do.

It doesn't only mean that one should only think of himself, but, also to think of others and his "inner self." Let's say, you wanted to watch a movie but then you have a rule that you can only watch on Saturdays because you should do your chores and assignments, still, you watched a movie even though it's a Friday.

What's your reason? "I'm free to do what I want. This is a democratic country and God gave me free will to choose what I want to do. Don't deprive me of my freedom!" For you this might be a valid reason, but what about for your parents?

Didn't you just deprive them of their freedom to rest and see their son doing what is right? Didn't you just deprive your mind and conscience of their freedom to be free of worries? Didn't you just deprive yourself of freedom to do the right thing in the name of God? Didn't you also deprive the freedom of your soul to be one step closer to our Father in Heaven?

Imagine how many individuals have you deprived of freedom just by knowing the shallow meaning of it and by thinking that freedom is not born out of obligations.

Before, I'm also the type of person who also looks on the shallow interpretations, just because I believe that God gave me the free will to choose and do whatever I want to do, but through understanding the deeper meaning of freedom and obligations and their relationship to one another.

I was able to realize that I was wrong. I realized that doing the right thing and your obligations isn't depriving you of your freedom, but instead it's freeing you from ill judgment and decisions.

It's true that people tend to think that they are not free whenever they can't do what they want, but have they thought of the things they want to do? Is it for the good of themselves and for others or only because they want it?

We usually forget to ask this question or if we do, we get the wrong answers. That’s why we tend to think that freedom is just simply, being able to do what you want and as for obligation, it's the one depriving us of our freedom.

This is really wrong. We should ask ourselves if what we're doing is right, because God made us in his image and likeness and if we choose to do selfish acts then we not only hurt many individuals, but we also hurt our creator.

Isn't that enough reason for us to stop first and reflect on the things we want to do? Isn't that a valid reason for us to think of the consequences of the things we think that's making us free?
For me it is... I've also realized that I must not just think of myself but rather of the many individuals around me.

We can never be free if we violate the rules and if we get the gut feelings that ‘what I'm doing is not right’.

I've learned so many things in my life and these are the things that helped me define myself as a person and answer so many questions that make me. I'm obliged to do so many things and a lot of people have great expectations from me.

Before, I even thought that I'm tied with these obligations, that they're depriving me of my freedom but eventually, as the years pass and as I grow older, I've realized that they're not depriving me of my freedom but rather they are helping me to be free, to be free from the evil around me, from bad temptations that's lurking here on earth.

I know now, that I can never be free if I don't do my obligations and that if I don't have obligations, I can not be free as well. Because, I can do whatever I want and that's not right because I'm not thinking or doing actions for the good of others and myself, but only because I want it which is totally wrong.

As a person I must also look for the higher goods because it's what brings us closer to our creator. I understand now that things could only get complicated if I make it complicated and the only thing which could deprive me of freedom is not my obligations but my selfish thoughts.

"Life would be intolerable if there is no freedom and there can be no freedom if there are no obligations." We should keep this in mind if we want to live life with God to its fullest.

We must understand that it's not wrong to choose to do the right thing rather than doing what you think can free you if it's for the good of others because it's the only thing that could spare us from the evil around us. Being free is what we all want.

Nobody wants to be behind "cells" right? That's the reason why we should understand the mutual understanding of freedom and obligation because by that we would be able to reflect our actions to prevent mistakes and regret doing them in the end. We must remove in our mind the thought of doing selfish acts and escaping our obligations, because it's the only way for us to become free.

I tell you it's nice to be free. Life would become worth-living if we're all FREE!

Friday, February 12, 2010

How to face problems....

Sir Winston Churchill once quoted....

“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity and an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty".

Great meaningful words indeed.

It’s very important to have a positive mindset in our daily life, so that we can solve many a problem with ease with just the thought that it can be solvable.

Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to find an immediate solution to a specific problem.

We should use our experience or seek others help who have thread the same path in their lives and come out of similar problems.

We should not hesitate to discuss our problems with our friends/relatives as we might get good or some times even great suggestions/solutions from them.

Confidence in oneself is the key to solving any problem. Every moment we hold back in solving a difficult problem may drift us away from our otherwise comfort zone. This will sooner than later make the problem worse and finally may be very difficult in dealing with it.

The key word here is to approach a problem the instant it surfaces and find a solution at the earliest. Once a decision is taken to implement the solution, stick by it and face the consequences if any.

In the long run, positive attitude and steadfastness in solving a problem will get results which will be termed as a grand success.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

decision making... the intrinsic thought behind it

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track.

The train is coming, and you are just beside the track interchange. You can make the train change its course to the disused track and save most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make........ ........ Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess. Exactly, to save most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally. But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?

Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was. This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are.

The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

The great critic Leo Velski Julian who told the story said he would not try to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens.

If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track! Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe.

If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake! And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids.

While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one.

'Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right.'

Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Students were quite brilliant even then...

Few centuries ago, a Law teacher came across a student who was willing to learn but was unable to pay the fee.

The student struck a deal saying, "I would pay your fee the day I win my first case in the court". Teacher agreed and proceeded with the law course.

When the course was finished and teacher started pestering the student to pay up the fee, student reminded the deal and pushed days.

Fed up with this, the teacher decided to sue the student in the court of law and both of them decided to argue for themselves.

The teacher put forward his argument saying: "If I win this case, as per the court of law, student has to pay me. And if I lose the case, student will still pay me because he would have won his first case. So either way I will have to get the money".

Equally brilliant student argued back saying: "If I win the case, as per the court of law, I don't have to pay anything to the teacher. And if I lose the case, I don't have to pay him because I haven't won my first case yet. So either way, I am not going to pay the teacher anything".

This is one of the greatest paradoxes ever recorded in history.

How about that..!??