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Oh Freedom!
(For teens)
By: Nivedita Shori

 

The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, towards others as well as ourselves.                                                                        - Oscar Arias Sanchez

 

To be free is probably one of the best blessings of life. Oh that long and anxious wait for the magic number of eighteen – just for that step of freedom into the wide world beyond!

 

Sometimes, we all feel suffocated, as if an iron hand of control is being cast upon us all the time. It seems like our life is not ours but is being governed by what others want from us. A lot of times, these ‘others’ appear in the form of our parents, siblings, teachers, other adults in our life and in some cases, even friends. We want to cry out “Why can’t you leave me alone?” Often we leave it at the question and in our frustration and anger, forget to look for the answer!

 

So why is it that we can’t seem to get the independence that is so dear to us and to everyone? Surprising as it may seem, the truth is because we don’t stop blaming others for taking the freedom away from us. Doing something – anything – is hard. What’s easy is to blame others for it! It’s very hard to be free but even harder to be fit to be free. With freedom come a lot of rights. And with rights come a lot of responsibilities! If we learn to be responsible for who we are, what we do and how we go about in our dealings with the world, we’ll find that independence will come naturally to us.

 

To shove the blame on someone for ‘messing around with me’ seems so much easier than making sure that ‘I take responsibility’ so that no one needs to step into ‘my affairs’. If we can show that we’re in control, then others would probably get the message and stay out of our way on their own.

 

A lot of times we do try to demonstrate that we’re in control but it doesn’t seem to work. The reason is that the act is only a pretence in order to ward off anyone who tries to ‘help’. The real thing would be to seriously take ownership of a situation, prove what we’re worth and show through our actions how much we’re capable of, instead of shouting out “I’m in control!” The aura around us needs to communicate how much we care about ourselves by making the right decisions. If a strange fear grips our hearts while we’re taking a decision, it’s probably time to stand up for ourselves and choose what our heart and mind say is right, instead of letting difficult situations control our thoughts, emotions and gradually our whole being.

 

Hollow words, empty statements and untrue promises are really no way to gain independence. A child asks her parents permission to eat food  with her own hands. If the mom sees that she is capable of handling it, then the little girl has just opened one of her doors to independence! If on the other hand, the child had promised her parents that she knew how to eat her meals on her own and when given permission, had made a mess out of it, the adults would have decided to still ‘stay in charge’ – not because it would give them a chance to boss around but because their little daughter wasn’t capable of being her own boss, although she did try to take charge by promising more than she could actually do!

 

To say “I’ll try” or “I’m trying” is a very important initial step but to give a real sincere try from the depth of your faith is what leads you to your independence. Always hold yourself responsible for the decisions you take, the mistakes you make and for the rights that you have!

 

If we keep finding faults with others, there will be no time left to show and develop our own fine personalities. If, deep down inside us, we’re suffering with an inferiority complex, then again, it’s time to start working on it considering it our own responsibility. No one is to blame for who we are and what we do. Just by realizing that and believing in that, we take ourselves a step further into the world of freedom.






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