Cost of personal freedom and happiness….

Is the opposite of happiness…unhappiness? What about…simple pleasures…joys…overcoming fears…relief…challenges…contentment..interests…excitement…inner peace? Is paying the price for doing it your way worth more than paying a price for living someone else’s life ? Dare we be different to what society…people…family…peers…expect us to be, and in that pursuit be…happy…content…at peace…lead a happy life?

In this age of instant gratification…instant expectations…instant communication…being yourself…unique…marching to your own drum roll, invites a lot of raised eyebrows and skepticism . There seems to be a one-for-all yard stick for a life of fun…happiness…the good life! This, more often than not, is now a made-to-order, across the board, modern…enlightened…superimposed lifestyle…and it is being adhered to by an increasing number of people…

Forgotten are values…norms…expectations…lifestyles of yore…We seem now to be marching to a universal…modern…alien, but blindly accepted…value system with it’s own codes of enjoyment. Not falling into this  “norm” invites a less than approving acceptance …

A favorite writer, Paulo Coelho says…Dare to be different. You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns. Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person.

In effect…staying true to yourself…whatever that means or may be…irrespective of social disapproval…in spite of a superimposed code of conduct…marching to your own drum roll based on values, behavioral codes, ethics, tenets you believe in…this is the path of learning to be true to yourself…taking responsibility for the celebration of life…

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Choices…..

Choices…what a priveleged lot we are…we have choices!  Choices to be , to do, to say, to act…exactly as we want more often than not . We are that set of individuals in most societies who have the option to exercise this choice regularly and unfortunately often, with no thought at all…and that is exactly what we do! We exercise it thoughtlessly…randomly…immorally…unethically…irreverently…irresponsibly…and take great pride in doing so…to top it all, we feel affronted if anyone dare question this privelege .

Like all priveleges , this one too comes with a responsibility! Do we usually accept that ? Very few of us do…in spite of ourselves! But sometimes…when faced with particular situations , when backed against a wall, when put in a spot , when it is a face saver…then our choices and ensuing actions are different to our norm…is that not hypocrisy?

What…me…us…hypocritical? No…it is the other person…whose Choices we are unable to stomach, unable to relate to, unable to even want to understand, unable to rationalise (within the gambit of my choices), unable to tolerate…basically unable to allow others a choice of their own which goes against the choices I make! Yes…we are the ones in this priveleged position…

So we question choices others make…choices of belief, of moral code, of dress, of head gear, of politics, of principles, of behaviour, of travel, of company, of lifestyle,  basically whatever is different from my choice of lifestyle . We forget we have an inherent contract, covenant almost, with this edge…to use it with humility…consideration…tolerance…generosity…to use it to lead by example. A difficult moral choice…one that we need to act upon now…this world with all those who have none of these choices of privelege are looking to us…