Now when I am scribbling over the keyboard, with my spectacles on and wrinkles that signifying my years of experience, I am hardly unaware that it is not a life that I had been living all through. I have been so engrossed myself in society and its demands that it had never occurred to me if there is anything for me or did I do anything that could give me happiness?
I have always been living a life that others had left me with or dictated me. Since I was born, labels were inscribed on what to do and what not, the life rules which I would hardly understand. And when I started growing up I have started to take upon myself to live with the same as dictated.
This is not only my story, but all the women and even men of today who are passing their time under the pretext of one or the other rule which is instilled in our mind since we are born. The question that keeps on perplexing me in some corners of my mind, “are these rules giving me happiness, am I really happy?” For freedom loving people, and women of today, these are like demons who are always ready to eat you up.
As far as I can understand, there is no definite meaning of happiness. It comes when we are pleased about ourselves, pleased about our family and friends.
John Lennon once narrated the incident in childhood about happiness, he said, “when I was five my mother would always tell me that happiness was the key to life and when I went to school a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand that assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life”.
Yes till now, we have never understood life rules though we are as successful as Bill Clinton, or as the richest Bollywood or Hollywood star, we still are not able to comprehend minute nuisances of life. Even though several our leaders, philosophers, religious gurus, scholars, teachers, and many other learned men have been explaining us the real meaning and essence of life, yet we are so surcharged in the different quandaries, that we are not able to still maintain our statuesque and understand how we are living and what is a life for us?
The main reason is that we are so much in pursuit of the different conventions as framed for us by the society that we are not able to stir through what we want to do, or what our heart says we must do.
But can we ignore that we are surrounded by the rules as if around us there are only rules and rules; how to sit is a rule, how to sit on a dining table a rule, how to sit in front of guests and how to sit with friends there is a rule. We are so much engrossed in rules that we have forgotten what we are? Then there are varied rules of eating, sleeping, walking, talking, dressing, and etc………..it’s endless. If I start writing pages and pages will be filled and even Microsoft word document will get perplexed and not regret to say, Oh My Gosh!
While writing this I remember scenes from the movie Titanic where its heroine is sad and upset only because she didn’t want to follow the rules as being prescribed on her by her noble and upper-class society. She wanted to fly like a bird, swim like a fish, and dance like crazy boys and girls of the lower class. This is a reason why she got acquainted with a lower-middle-class boy, who did not have even his own home, but he was free. He can do anything he wants, gamble, spit, laugh, run, dance, and anything that his heart says. And we were all sympathetic towards that young beautiful girl as somehow or at some point or the other, we are finding our lives quite similar to her.
Am I born rules? No, as since the day I was born from my mother’s womb, I did only one thing, cry but as I exchanged hands, my ears started reeling with many narratives. My granny would say, “Isko honey chattao”, when a baby is born it is a ritual in many households to feed it with little honey. And Aunts and Uncles started their versions of rules on what to do with me and what not to do. But at that time I was only thinking of one thing, “Mujhe doodh do”.
As a child of two years thanks to God there was no rule for me. I could do anything that I want, roll, kick, scroll, throw the toys here and there and suck. But hold here is a rule for me too. I cannot write anything on the wall when I tried to scrabble on it with a pen of which I get hold of. Hahaha! You would laugh at it, but understand what’s going on in the child’s mind? A child wants to create and experiment.
But are these rules to live by nasty? Our wisdom says not, as they are created to keep us safe, happy, and for us to flourish.
“My life my rules” are teenagers advocacy, as they want to live according to their whims and not the way their elders want them to. But another aspect to it is, “Is your life is yours only, aren’t we part of this society in which we are living?” We have family, friends, lovers, spouses, and others who care for us.
So below are the pin pointers on all the pros and cons of the imperativeness of the rules to live by and if they are so important for us and our lives:
The meaning of rules is different for everybody, but if we are a social animal and destined to live in society, we need rules.
For safety: This world is not very safe too with risk at every step. If we do whatever the way we want and do how the way we live, we are at risk. When rules are created and enforced, teens and children feel safe. Teens are generally prohibited to venture out after dark and are also not allowed to ride, why because they are more prone to risk.
But we as parents could hardly comprehend that teens can make dramatic exit by slamming the door, but, I kept a towel on the knob. So she could not do any slamming. Teens loves to break the rules, but parents say, “If you break, it is your loss.”
Rules make you clear you are an adult: For an adult, wrinkles are the sign of wisdom which they have got all along by following rules in their society. And rules prescribed on the teens are the protocols they need to follow when they are going out into the gathering or in a crowd with their friends. What they require is an adult who cares deeply about them and rules shows teens that they care.
Trust is developed: Though there is always a trust between parents and children prescribed rules in life ensures you a caring and loving person. But rules should be fairly implied for all in the family and not for teens, there should be a level playing field which builds trust between the parents and children.
Rules are culturally, religiously, and socially induced: We live by our social conventions or how the way our society or religion tells us to live. If our religion says to pray, we do so, or if it says to wear a certain type of clothes, we do that. These rules are our identity and make us know in our society. People recognize each other with these religious traits in humans. This is a definite tenacity at play in our lives, that we tend to ignore also we are not able to deny it.
Then we all know there are societal rules and laws that we all as its citizens have to abide, after all, we are all social animals. However, I will not go through all these rules here as we all know about the same. These inscribed laws help us know what we ought to do and we can do and make us live like a society.
But as the coin as two sides and there are two aspects of each so I would like also to ponder why rules are not important?
- Rules are the hindrance to the freedom of choice.
- We are restricted to travel especially in the foreign lands where we need permission.
- Ours need to quench for soul satisfaction is obstructed as we are not able to do much what we feel strongly about.
- A certain essence of negative and sadness is created in our surroundings.
Katherine Hepburn rightly said, “If you obey all the rules you’ll miss all the fun”, obviously if we obey all the rules, we will be deprived of fun. So we can break the rules from time to time to enjoy the fun. But wrinkles on my face says, I am satisfied with my life, as my child is settled and I have become a writer.
I will only say in the end that dare to be different, dare to do something that is conventionally not a rule but do it sensibly, as our life is not only ours but of our loved ones.
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