"….While I was fighting, I heard other people speaking in the name of freedom, and the more they defended this unique right, the more enslaved they seemed to be to their parents' wishes, to a marriage in which they had promised to stay with the other person "for the rest of their lives," to the bathroom scales, to their diet, to half-finished projects, to lovers to whom they were incapable of saying "No" or "It's over," to weekends when they were obliged to have lunch with people they didn't even like. Slaves to luxury, to the appearance of luxury, to the appearance of the appearance of luxury. Slaves to a life they had not chosen, but which they had decided to live because someone had managed to convince them that it was all for the best. And so their identical days and nights passed, days and nights in which adventure was just a word in a book or an image on the television that was always on, and whenever a door opened, they would say: "I'm not interested. I'm not in the mood." How could they possibly know if they were in the mood or not if they had never tried? But there was no point in asking; the truth was they were afraid of any change that would upset the world they had grown used to."
Have just started reading Zahir- by Paulo Coelho and on Page # 10 itself, I found this paragraph. From past 30 minutes, I have been reading this again and again and realizing how true it is. Most of us just bury our talents and wishes to pursue a life which we don't love but are assured by someone else that this is the life which is meant for us. That someone can be our parents, friends, colleagues or peer group. How many of us have got the courage to stand against all of them and tell that I want to live MY life differently? Forget telling this to others, how many of us could tell this to ourselves?
One of my closest friends calls me up one fine day and declares that she has quit her secure job in a bank to pursue her interest in Media industry. I almost shout back at her and silently keep on praying to God to give her either some wisdom to come back to lead a normal life or to give her a nice break in the industry as soon as possible. After almost 3 months, I get a long mail from her stating that she is the Assistant Director in one of the leading soap operas and that she now sleeps like a child and is no more an insomniac because she is doing what she wanted to, enjoying it to the fullest, gets exhausted and gets a satisfied sleep.
Though, it's true that changing your path may never be a cakewalk. You may have to face lot of struggle. But what scares most of us is that the people who mean the most to us may also refuse to hold our hands in our tough time. The one who can stand alone is the winner. But most of us cannot.
Forget taking a different path, we are not even ready to take risks in our lives. As a simple example, how many of us would jump excitedly on the idea of Bungee jumping on the coming weekend? On such offer, I would have to think about my household jobs due to be completed on this weekend, my relatives who are about to visit us, my family who would simply instruct me to drop the idea of doing such risky action and I may just follow them and indeed drop the idea. We are spoon-fed since childhood that we are destined to follow a set path and are not allowed to engage in risky business. Schooling, graduation course which ensures a good white-collared job, post-graduation which ensures high pay-package, 9 to 5 job which may be extended till late in night or even next morning but gives a regular salary, get married to the one chosen by our parents, start a family and repeat the cycle. I am afraid to quit my job and pursue my interest simply because quitting the job would mean no income from my side. Then how will I meet my ends and support my family?
We do talk about freedom and enjoy the national holiday on the Independence Day on every 15th August but we still have not understood the meaning of this word "Freedom". Freedom does not mean to react instantly to something without even thinking of the consequences. It means to live the way you ultimately want to live and enjoy and be proud of it. I should take the responsibility of my life and the direction I give to it. Honestly, I might have thought this way about thousand times in my life but still I am not independent and have no guts to quit the path chosen for me by others and make my own way.