For some wild reason there is a fine invisible line amongst the human population. It is not cast creed or nationality. It is freedom and slavery. Not as easy as it superficially looks, because if you are counting yourself in the free people you will need to check the truth once again.
Freedom is not about living in an independent democracy. Freedom is not when others say you are free. Freedom is ability to tread a new path, courage to stand alone, wisdom to conquer ineptitude. Freedom is that pleasure of soul that comes from completely getting rid of public shame!! Yes! The moment we stop accepting set norms of freedom, success, satisfaction we start the journey to freedom. And everyone desires freedom yet is compulsively acting in the exact converse!
We go to a big expensive school because others say it is the best school in town. We study, study and study till our bums are set on fire because we want an admission to even better school. Better school as others rate it. Again we spend the best moments of our precious life in rubbing our nose against thick books so that we get into the better college. Better college as others rate it. We then fry ourselves, our body, our mind and soul for achieving the graduation certificate so that we get a better job. Better job as others rate it. Fine now that you have done all this do you feel on the top of the world?! No you don’t! There is still a better job than yours…. Keep hopping around the world in search of freedom from previous confinements….lament the lack of freedom!
People spend lifetimes like this…torn between work and family and responsibility…. They have no time to stop and look at themselves. So busy is life that they do not have time to do the most important thing in life, being happy.
Every now and then there comes a weirdo….a person who is not capable of torturing himself like others are. He wants freedom just as they do. But he can see that it is the habit of being in the confinement of set and safe life that keeps everyone from being free and happy. He cannot follow their soiled steps. He just cannot go on.
A person sometimes marked as a hero, sometimes marked as a villain…. Sometimes an outcast…. Because he doesn’t give a “s**t” to others blind rules. It is a situation of great friction, but sadly an invisible friction. It is a torture like no other. It is an injustice like no other….
In order to be able to do my work sincerely and with love, I need a license?! In order to be happy and make others happy, I need your permission? In order to be able to create I must go through such a hell of torture, that by the time I step out of the hell I have lost all my innocence, all my sensitivity to create anything. Is this a factory of brainless robotic humans that we are making in succession of batches?! Why is it some other faceless system of governance that should give me a license to freedom….a license to dream and to create and to serve others?!
This is not the first time all these questions have been raised. Rather these questions are rippling in your, mine and everyone’s mind alike. All we need is the urge, the courage to accept that, yes, there is a question in my mind…there is something wrong with the way I am living… there is something else that will make me happy…no one else has the key to my happiness…
The moment we accept this we are free… free to break the rules, free to make new world…free to live and free to make life beautiful for the entire world! Your one smile is as precious as thousands of dollars you may earn. Ask yourself, would you have a thousand dollars and no smile?
No I don’t mean that money is converse of happiness. Rather the wicked truth is that our comforted urban bums only survive in a heap of money. Money that by the time you earn it, has deprived you of the precious smile…..you are too tired to smile at the money….
We do not know the currency of happiness….let us just accept it! We do not know what really, really makes us happy. We are dumb-asses, losers and beggars at the God’s door! We are all the time wanting and wanting and have no time to savor when we get what we wanted so badly!
And ask yourself when you are alone….you will know that you already knew how dumb-ass you were! We all know it inside and hide it outside. We roam around like a tiger! But inside we are a scared homeless kitten! If you still think you are a tiger…you most probably don’t know yourself well! If none of the questions mentioned above match your experience you may be the rare person who really has got the license to freedom and the license to dream! Lucky soul! If you feel free you may really be free, but most commonly you are unaware of your confinement!
We need to unlearn…. We need to remove the creases of formal garment that we are wearing on our minds! School walk-outs, drop outs, jobless people are a lot more independent learners because nobody feeds them, “what to do of their time”.
In last one week I have met a number of people who chose to step out of the formal flow of education and jobs. There are home scholars, school walk outs, experimental scholars, un-scholars, people who have quit their desk jobs and started working on their own, people who burnt their degree certificate as a symbol of their freedom…
I will accept that at first I thought it was very dramatic! But more I interacted with these people I learnt that human mind is a jungle of illusions. And it is susceptible to weakness. Choosing to give up the safety of commonly treaded path and finding a new way of living is an act of great courage for a mind that had become accustomed to spoon fed life. A new path is a synonym of hard life, newer challenges and difficulties… and in times when everything seems to go wrong, the entire world is set to convince you that you are wrong, come back to the sheep fold! Take up a decent office job and relax. The traitorous mind finds conformations to escape to the safety. It needs great self restrain to not give up freedom and go on with life. Burning degree certificates is like cutting off your ropes to safety. It gives you strength to survive.
It is also very symbolic act. And the mind needs symbols to remember and re-live the truth. The moment of burning that piece of paper that you have kept so preciously so far, has very deep implications, an unimaginable sense of freedom. with that paper you are burning the right of others to judge you, approve or disapprove you. With that paper you are burning the bitterness of being configured like a machine. With that paper you are burning the confinements.
That one moment of exaltation, freedom and lightness always remains in your memory, as a symbol of joy. Every time you feel doubt about your choice, you remember that moment and re-experience the same joy…. It becomes an inspiration for you!
The memory of freedom itself is a license to freedom, license to dream and live and love….. We must create more and more memories that strengthen our license, our sense of freedom. We must believe in freedom, from this moment on….