17 August 2012
Today was an unusual day. In the sense that I did 'exactly' what I wanted to do. This might sound very commonplace and you may think 'what's so extraordinary about it? Don't we all do what we want to everyday?'. But I feel in actuality, it is seldom that we get the chance to do so. If you disagree with me then you are very, very lucky and I envy you.
I think I have been tremendously influenced by Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism of late. Living life on one's own terms, practising integrity, individualism and pursuing one's own happiness. This theory is highly debatable and even in my mind there is a conflict between certain tenets of Objectivism and Collectivism.
Anyway, today I'm talking about 'Free Will'. How often do we actually get to exercise this free will of ours? Societal rules and laws of civilisation never really permit us to comply with our free will. For eg - Have you ever been so, so bored in a history class that you just wanted to get up and leave the classroom? - But you couldn't because you are not SUPPOSED to do so. You are SUPPOSED to sit and listen (read pretend to listen) till the end of the class. Have you ever wanted to tell someone(someone you know) that the dress they're wearing is absolutely horrendous and if you were them you wouldn't be caught dead in it? But when they ask you tell them instead that they look lovely. Have you ever wanted to do things a certain way but end up doing it in a way others think is right and eventually feel unhappy? These are minor examples that I'm giving because honestly thats all I can think of as of now. But this applies to every aspect of our existence. I'm sure all of us have faced something like this at some point in our lives. In fact I would go to the extent of saying that, consciously or unconsciously, we face situations like this everyday in our life.
I did not do anything great today. I just did whatever I 'felt' like for a change without a care. Without thinking what others would think. Without worrying about the consequences. For example - I read a book for as long as I wanted to and intepreted it the way I wanted to. I slept for as long as I wanted to. I told a friend certain things (quite explicit in nature) that I wouldn't have said to him in my wildest dreams - I was shocked at myself! I was talking to another friend and I told her things that had been buried in my heart for long, things I thought I wouldn't tell anyone ever. But that's what I felt and that was the truth. I ate what I wanted to (everybody else ordered pizza) and I cooked it the way I wanted to. Basically, I did not think twice before doing anything I felt like (thank God I didn't feel like jumping into the lake!).
All these sound like really small and insignificant things and will evoke the response 'So what? What's the big deal about it? '. But you will never know 'So what?' unless you do it yourself. Ofcourse I'm not advocating 'unrestricted exercise of free will'. This will lead to unnecessary chaos and disorder and lead to destruction. There are certain behavorial and societal norms that must not be disregarded and you will be branded a madman if you go around town doing whatever you please. All I'm saying is that every individual must strive to attain a balance between the concept of 'I' and 'We'. Understand that 'I' is very important and nothing to do with selfishness. What others think about you is none of your business. There should be times when you must let go and just Feel, don't waste your time worrying and thinking, just Feel.