I had been thinking to write an article for about a week now. I keep on getting a theme, get some abstract in my mind and then I moved on to other things. It is amazing how I keep on finding one or other stuff to do before I can write and often by the end of the day, I do not have any time left to write. Combined with the fact that I am not a fan of writing as the last thing before calling it a day. Maybe I would have missed another week, if one of my ex-colleague and friend would not have started writing about her mount-biking journey. Almost everyday she manages to write about her experience of the day. This article is being written thanks to her. You can follow her experiences on https://jelisu.com/.
In the morning I decided, today I must write one article based on the ideas I have noted earlier. However, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that by the time I sit on the chair, it would be something else. Here I am now writing about our busy lives. I can probably say it for myself as well that I was too busy to write. But it is not the case, I had all the time. It was just that I was somehow lazy and kept of finding other things to do as an excuse not to write. Sometimes, one needs a push, even if it comes in the form of encouragement from others rather than an actual kick on your butt. I am happy now staring on my laptop screen trying to collect and arrange my thoughts in someway that I can be written down.
Freedom is one of those things I human life that we want to be valued. We talk about it, write about it, fight about it, go on processions , write songs and make movies about it. Apart from reading about Indian freedom struggles, the one example that comes to my mind now is the movie Braveheart. William Wallace with face painted in blue addressing a group of people and trying to lead them to a war. A war for freedom! It is kind of interesting as to how he with the small speech took away their choice of not to fight and convinced them fight and die because he thought it is important and better this way. Did this crowed really made their free choice or were they were brain washed by the sudden flow of adrenaline given by another guy who knows how to move crowd?
Freedom from what? To create another country, another state because the current one is “ruling” you? What will happen after the fight? Will there be some new ruler of this new country? If yes, won’t it be similar? If no, then for which countries or group of people did they fought for? In my knowledge after every such fight in the history, a new ruler, a new system is put in place. This system works almost the same way as the previous one. Just that at some places they make a decision to drive on the right side of the road. But, the people are still not select their side based on the freedom. After few years, few decades, the same discussions start again in bars, in cafes in hidden corners and basements of the new world.
What about other types of freedom? Can you build a house where you want? Why can’t I get down from the bus before the given bus stop? Can you send your kid to the school you want? I don’t want to wait for 1 hour to get through the emergency ward of the hospital for which I keep on paying every month; can I do it? What if I just like to knock on the doors, will I be allowed my freedom or declared “challenged” and put on medications? Will I have choice to atleast select the medicine (even if I do not know based on what). Ask anybody who is married, in relation, lives together or just room mates if they can say they are really free in all their choices? To get a pet, color of the table, of your walls, our meal, who, when and how one does the dishes, do they have freedom to decide about those simple activities? And we are just talking 2 people here, imagine the constraints as we add more and more people into this equations. (Just got these last few lines based on a video my friend shared)
You go to any big city (lets keep the scenario limited), you find almost standard non-stop movement of people. Start the day same time, with same routine, same tasks, same shops, same people to fill our day. If we find some free time in between ,we start to search for something to fill that gap. It does not matter if it is a sport, a yoga class, a zumba course, a language course, going to gym, to get a new bike or change the paint in the house as it looks old. Life is just too busy. It is a bit ironic that in this system people will keep on talking about busy life, less time, but the moment they get some free time in their life, they react differently. They would panic, go restless, annoyed, frustrated and if left a little longer may go mad.
The moment they get some free time, they would start the new search. Immediately, a computing device is in front for something; check a new movie, a new recipe, some travel destination, a restaurant to try, a new dress or anything else that is possible to type and press that button on the most simple screen on the internet; the google home page. My mother is sad that her kids and away in different countries and it is a rare chance to see them. Similar to her, there are many other mothers and fathers, who feels the same. They have an assumption that if people live close to each other then they meet more often and share more often. Of course in a simple scenario, it provides a higher probability than if people live different continents. But with today’s technological tools, to have a conversation you are not limited by distance. Of course you cannot have a dinner together and share a meal on the table, but it is possible to have asynchronous messages, audio or video calls, share pictures, events etc. Atleast, it is a theoretical possibility.
In real life people living in the same city may not see each other even once a year, send a message on a birthday and probably make a call on new year. You send a message to your friend for chat, a lot many times you may not a response. Sometimes, it maybe, “I am busy now, will talk/call later from home or when I am free”. A lot many times even that may not happen. To meet for a tea or a coffee can easily become a complicated scheduling task. Many times even when agreed on dates and time, it may not happen, because one of them forgot or had to go to another place or priorities changed. If asked then respond would be that ofcourse we need to meet some day. People do have time to attend a call or respond to a message, but a lot many times you maybe asked to visit them. I have known cases when people living in the same city, under the same roof may communicate each other only by notices slapped on the refrigerator. It is an extreme example, but not that uncommon in the big modern city today.
We have no idea what to do when we are really free. I do not know if we always lacked that capacity or it happened only with agricultural or industrial or internet age. But, today you cannot ask a person to just in a room doing nothing and enjoy his/her free time. It becomes even more complicated if you add one more person to it, especially when they know each other. It would be too awkward if two friends, couple sitting on the same table, literally doing nothing; no talking, no mobile, no tv, no laugh, no sex, nothing at all. If you put 2 strangers though in the same situation, they may appear to manage to stay without communication for some time, but at the same time thinking hundreds of different things about the other person and thousand things about their life.
|Giving freedom to another country based on their own free choice?|
It is not just about the regular people who goes to work, have families and have obligations to finish. I saw the same with people who are the leaders of being free, teaching how to let go, marketing how to be with you, how to be thoughtless, how to get out of the rat race and 9-to-5 life. All the time they have, the spend in planning and talking to others how to be free with yourself. They are always trying to connect to more and more people, so these people can learn how to be just alone. If they do not have any sessions planned, they try to search for a “delicious organic meal”, to go and enjoy by the sea, to go to a spa, to get a relaxing massage and so on.
Now, in all this busyness of life, do we stop and think about freedom for which we keep on making movies? Or is it now just on how can we find way to get into a debate/argument about freedom of speech, freedom of internet, freedom of being nude or so on? It seems that we struggle a lot with just one aspect of freedom, that is when we are just free from activities. Do we really think we can manage we get really get free in all aspects of our lives? Is this really a possibility?
|Probably the people are not freely making their choices|
I do not know what is possible or not, but I think with a little of effort and practice one can always find a time to smile and laugh. I am not talking when we laugh while watching a comedy tv series, or someone else tells a joke or car splashes some rain water on someone. Just smile, innocent without consciously triggering it, just let it come to you. Is that why a baby’s smile is so beautiful?
“You have got to have more recreation and relaxation,” said Mulla Nasrudin to the overworked friend. “But I am too busy,” said the friend. “THAT’S SILLY,” replied Nasrudin. “ANTS HAVE THE GREATEST REPUTATION FOR BEING BUSY ALL THE TIME, YET THEY NEVER MISS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND A PICNIC.”
Extra : Infographic some may help interesting. I do not think it is full and really works 🙂