NOTWITHSTANDING THE SENSE OF DEJA VU prevalent today (August 15) all over India, the occasion is not entirely inappropriate to actually think about how truly free each of us are personally.
IT WAS VOLTAIRE who said that habits are the shackles of the free. We still remain fully at the mercy of habits that have enslaved us – and these are too numerous to list here. Yet, we can always redeem ourselves from these forces of captivity even if sometimes it takes a great tragedy for us to simply give up practices that are not salutary as in the case of the loss of a dear friend to cancer which prompts one to give up smoking !
WE SHOULD ASK OURSELVES what withholds us from exercising the freedom to do simple acts that can touch and brighten our existence. What prevents us from praising someone promptly for a good deed done ? Or according timely recognition when it is truly due ? Equally, if something has to be done promptly are we not free to do it without delays ? Why, for instance, don’t we exercise our freedom for our own well-being such as doing a medical check up regularly ? Is anyone preventing us from exercising every day ?
TOMES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN on the nature of habit and the stranglehold it exercises on our mind and body. Truly, everything boils down to a calm understanding and realization that we are masters of our own destiny. Don’t we have the freedom to remain honest or the freedom to do the right thing always ? Why don’t we exercise this freedom ?
AT THE END OF THE DAY, to be truly free is to do the right thing – this helps us to sleep soundly and to enjoy the best things of life which, as the adage goes, are anyway free. The true exercise of our freedom to do the right thing not only keeps us healthy but also maximizes our happiness. Freedom also occupies a special place in our lives when we are willing to listen to and understand voices that are different from our own and when we learn to accommodate beliefs contrary to our own faiths.
WHEN WE SET OURSELVES free from our prejudices, the air we breathe feels fresher and life rejuvenates itself. We owe it to ourselves and our dear ones to set ourselves free as a matter of urgency.