Freedom vs. responsibility

I came across this crisp post from Seth, which i am quoting below.Freedom vs. responsibility

Freedom and responsibility

 

Which do you want?

 

Freedom is the ability to set your schedule, to decide on the work you do, to make decisions.

 

Responsibility is being held accountable for your actions. It might involve figuring out how to get paid for your work, owning your mistakes or having others count on you.

 

Freedom without responsibility is certainly tempting, but there are few people who will give you that gig and take care of you and take responsibility for your work as well.

 

Responsibility without freedom is stressful. There are plenty of jobs in this line of work, just as there are countless jobs where you have neither freedom nor responsibility. These are good jobs to walk away from.

 

When in doubt, when you’re stuck, when you’re seeking more freedom, the surest long-term route is to take more responsibility.

 

Freedom and responsibility aren’t given, they’re taken.

So next time when you aren’t happy with what you are doing, waking up in morning and going to office is a drag; it’s either:

  • You are the one Who is Giving someone Freedom without holding them responsible for their actions or;
  • You are the one Who isn’t taking Freedom but taking all responsibility or;
  • You aren’t walking away from these stressful jobs.

 

For One Self

Long time back I wrote about “life is all about sacrifices” and when I try I don’t even remember in what context did I make that post. Nevertheless it’s so true. It’s about what you chose.

Since then almost 5 years have passed and with time I have gained perspective around life. I believe that these 5 years have changed in ways that I can’t go back to who I was earlier. I do not know if that is for good or not but it has happened. Along the way somewhere I started to realize that this life or at least the one I have lived up till now has been about trying to make people happy. It all started when I was a kid and that was the conditioning which was given to me and my sister too. From the smallest of the things to the big ones it was always about “what will people think” so when relatives were visiting we had to be home arrested, when it was about studies it was about what my parents wanted me to do and countless things that I do not even remember now.

Somewhere down the line I started to revolt and my transformation started and it took me about 10 years to finish that transformation and realize that either I can live in the limbo and just do stuff that people around me want me to do or I can do something else. It was not a choice that I made at-least not consciously. For better or worse I am no longer the person I used to be. I have those times in a day when I am just plain happy because I just do things what I like to do and now what people want me to do. Simply put – I just do stuff.

During this transformation what did stuck with me was the sense of responsibilities towards someone but it was a weird sense. I realize that what I do hurts people and it hurts all the time and there is a sense of guilt, but that sense does not lingers for long. I get over it and at time I get over it dangerously fast. I hope that does not makes me a bad person but I am sure that surely does not makes me a liked person as well. Part of this transformation has morphed a world around me which only I understand. No matter how much I try no one can understand this world at least not until they are willing to understand the process I went through in last 30 years to get where I am now.

I have several people around me who expect me to do things that they want me to do; that they prefer. It’s build of an implicit set of expectations that comes with a relationship be it a son, sibling, husband, father, friend, boss, colleague etc. But, little those people realize that I am also an individual and I have my own needs. Little those people realize that I have gone through a set of life for 30 years or so and there are several million (if not billion) things that have happened which have made me a person who I am.

Like any thing or person there are good and bad things. I look at people around me (and i mean everyone) and I watch for the great, good, bad and ugly and I prefer for large part to ignore the bad and the ugly and see the good/great barring a few people in my life who I resent (long story for another day). I have stopped expecting things from people ~ actually the only expectations I have from people around me is to stop expecting stuff from me. I am happy with the way they are because thats what they want to be. Who am I to tell someone around me “what they should do” or “how they should behave” or “anything for that matter”. They are mature adults and they know what they are doing. They of course want to do things that make them happy and I mean small day to day things be it be on phone, go to office, spend time reading facebook or posting on facebook or whatever. I know I am happy just seeing them around me. I care and hence I am around. I do not go to a friends hours every night/evening – i come back home because I care about the people at home and I find happiness to be around the, “just around does for me”. I work in an office where I like the people around me. I may not like their every action but I like to go back and talk to them and speak with them and work with them.

Why can not people return to me the same courtesy/expectation/kindness? Why is it so difficult for them to realize that I like to do things my way ~ whatever those things may be? how hard is it?

now unless someone expects to do things with me thats a different story all together because then you have a clash of 2 universes and one will always loose because those are 2 opposite ends. It’s like a cricket match – one team has to come out losing. Now you do not play for “win some, lose some”. Everyone plays to win all but there are bad days. I have my good and my bad days but what happens on those bad days is because of choices I make. Now if my decisions on a day makes someone sad because they did not get what they wanted – does that makes me a bad person? Or should I simply just give in all the time and sacrifice?

You can either live loved and die with about 400 people besides you but knowing you did not do stuff for yourself or you can live for yourself and maybe die alone and hated.I am fast moving towards the later and I do not know yet if that is a good place to be. But, I know end of the day these are my choices and I wont have anyone else to blame when I am on the death bed. I will at least be saying to myself I lived my life on my terms rather than cursing 100s of people of making my life something I do not want it to be.

Does that makes me a bad person?

The best 20 minutes of the day

Ludo skråfoto
Image via Wikipedia

Last few weeks, my kiddo has started a new tradition – playing “Ludo” before we go to bed. And, for last few weeks those 20 minutes has been the best time of the day that I spend – not thinking – just enjoying with my 2 princesses.

Things have not been how I wanted them to be for a long time, but last few weeks that has been changing and things are taking a favorable shape. Yet, I feel myself still being restless. When I am alone – driving or working or doing something alone, I just can not get my “tunnel focus” back. I am just unable to keep the distress signals out of picture and just focus on getting the things done that need doing. I have been spending a lot of energy in trying to keep myself on track (for doing whatever I have to do). For some reason, I don’t know why?

And, this brings me back to introspection and I am trying to relate my entire day, last few weeks to those 20 minutes I spend where I am totally focused and not worried about whats happening around me or with me. All I know that those 20 minutes make me happy like nothing else does and I need to find that love again in what I do. Also, that my family is with me during that time enjoying and supporting me makes a huge difference to me and I look forward to doing that.

It will not be wrong to summarize that both of the following statements are true for me:

My life’s moments are incomplete, they are not in the same vicinity as complete, if I can not share them with my family.

and

There are things I need to do; not for someone else but for myself. My urge to stay hungry is the reason I am alive.

 

I don’t have all the answers. I failed as much as I have succeeded. But, I have not failed enough just as I have not succeeded enough.

Support for Anna: A followup

Heading towards the dais - Anna Hazare
Image by vm2827 via Flickr

I wrote yesterday on why I think Anna should not use the current approach and make his political party to fight for the bill. A friend had asked me this question and on my suggestion he responded with details of an interview that Anna did with Aap Ki Adalat. The interview was a good one and the points that Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal brought up were valid ones. their concerns that the ruling party and their members are corrupt and so is the opposition is true to its very roots. Their point that changing the ruling party will not solve the issue because the opposition is also corrupt is try too. And it is evident in the way our MPs have enacted in this entire matter – I have not heard of MPs who have come forward in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

As Anna concluded his interview, he did mentioned a couple of points that call out the need of such an Andolan:

  1. Youth has come forward to support the movement; and it includes those who have never even voted. He mentioned that he happy to see that Youth can relate to the patriotism for India which has died over the years.  Today when people do not stand up to the National Anthem or stand up making faces, here is one movement that has brought all of them together for a greater cause;
  2. Anna said that someone who has a wife, kids and parents to support can not come forward. He added he does not expects them to come forward and go to jail because they have family to support. However, he does asks them to come forward and stand if it is harmless or support in a way they can;
  3. Anna called out to people are over 60 years and asked them – why can not they come forward. Their families are all settled and even if they go to jail, they will still get food in their;
  4. Anna and Kejriwal said many times over that this has to be a peaceful movement – no violence.

All of this makes so much sense to me. In all the material I have been reading, various activists or people; no one articulated the need or this movement the way these two did.

There is only one point that still baffles me – why does Team Anna does not want to fight for political power, get elected and then pass the bill. Given that this is not the only issue India has, if they come into power they will have the power to do not just one right thing, but lots of other right things. This question was asked many time to Anna and Arvind. The points I can make out are:

  • Arvind said (rephrased): why do we have to be power for something that is wrong?
  • Anna said (rephrased): I stay away from all government parties because if I would have not, I would have been unable to do all that I did
  • Anna said (rephrased): This is mud, and I do not want to get into the ditch

I hope not, but if this Andolan takes a turn like the recent event at Ramlila Maidan with Baba Ramdev, then this movement across India may take a turn for the worse or maybe Team Anna has been able to provide the leadership to the youth that they will not reach out to violence and stick to Gandhiwadi principles.

IIM Calcutta Alumni Association seminar on a C...
Image by vm2827 via Flickr

 

Of course, the movement has now started and no one can stop it. Anna has been fasting for 10 days now (almost 250 hours). But, whatever Team Anna is doing it is for a greater cause. They can do only so much, and even after that the Lokpal gets corrupted then we may need another Anna, but this is the right thing to do. I may never fully agree to the methods, but I always supported and will continue to support the sentiments and the need for the Lokpal bill.

 

I will pray for the safety and success of Team Anna, so that in next elections I can go and vote for an honest minister.

Right vs. Right

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his century agains...
Image via Wikipedia

On Sunday, during the 2nd test match between India and England something happened that has once again trigerred the debate of “what’s the right thing to do?”. It was the Ian Bell’s run out and India’s decision to take the appeal back allowing him to come out and bat again. The next day, India lost the test match in a very humiliating manner; however Ian Bell added only 20 more runs after being recalled and his recall had no influence on the result of the test match. Yet, the media has started to talk about it in all sense. Not just media; some people I know are also talking about if it was the right thing to do. If you read about the dismissal and watch it on YouTube, you will realize very soon that Ian Bell was out as per the rules and there was nothing wrong on part of Dhoni to make the appeal. It is a simple fact that umpires reviewed the same, and eventually ruled Ian Bell out. All of this happened within a day of another incident where VVS Laxman was accused of cheating by Andrew Strauss. An article in Times of India shows two sides of what people are feeling. One side said – “Why does India have to be on the good side always, when teams like Australia and England do all sorts of things in this Gentleman’s game”. The other side says – “We don’t want to follow or setup wrong examples. They can do what they want to; we will do the right thing”. In another article, they revelaed the influence Sachin had on this decision; goes to show the kind of leaders we have in our team how great this team is.

It was “right” to dismiss Ian Bell; he was silly to take the run; but it was also “right” to recall because of the confusion. When I think about it; it seems like a choice I have been asked to make so many times – “The Practical thing” vs. “The Right thing”. India decided to recall was the right thing to do; although it was not as per rules. They could have decided to let go of Bell and play on and nothing would have been wrong about it as per the rules of the game, but it would have be such a sad thing to do. All those people who in India, who are currently critisizing Dhoni for this; are not thinking if there was a role reversal and it was Sachin Tendulkar instead of Ian Bell. In most cases, knowing England they would not have recalled him; just think how we would have felt about it. We would have been all over the English side and critisizing them for this “right foresaken” thing. But, now when we have chosen to do the right thing – why are we upset. We should be happy that we have a team who thinks on moral ground and while they play to win, they also understand the importance of fair play.

Another decision

Today I have a meeting with my leadership team to understand and then decide what I am going to do next in my organization. The last year was all working on non-technology stuff for the most part. Last year, I was promised a technical role after I was done with my program management responsibilities, but that did not happen and I realized that I just can not keep myself away from technology at all. I need that as a fuel in my life to keep it exciting. Anything else just makes it too boring.

I am meeting with Harsha today to see what they (Harsha and Krishna) have thought about my role in the company. I know I want something in technology and I am going to ask for that. Time has come when I start seeing myself doing things I want to do and start saying “I want” instead of “I need”.

Wish me luck.

Karma

In last few months, I have adopted a belief and have strongly moved towards the existence of Karma. That means that I no longer believe in Fate, Luck or Destiny. Before I go about explaining how and why I arrived at this thought process, let me start off by explaining to you all what I understand of these words. If you want to learn more about it, I have provided links to all of these. My viewpoints mentioned in this post are just a summary of the concept and they closely follow what Brahmins follow in Hindu. I am not going to digress into Jainism, Buddhism or any other religions and debate what they each mean/infer of these divine words.

Karma can be summarized from a theist viewpoint as “God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve.”

Luck is either a good or bad fortune in life caused by accident or chance, and attributed by some to reasons of faith or superstition, which happens beyond a person’s control.

Destiny refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that a fixed natural order to the cosmos. Destiny and Fate may be used interchangeably.

Now to tie things up – about a month ago, I wrote about Destiny and why it has me confused. As you read that post, you will find me conflicted, but I do make a point that it seems my existence is purposeless. I have to exist to fulfill a purpose just like any other object in the universe be it Sun or be it an Ant or a pebble. We all play our roles in the environment around us. So, if everything has to be pre-determined or Destined, that all of this is simply pointless. Why would God create such a world where everything is pre-decided. Do we create a game where we know what is going to happen. Will we enjoy it?

Decision 1: There is no such thing as Destiny.

Just like Destiny, Luck is something that happens for no reason. Now, we all know that it is a proven fact of life a scientific principle proven – “every action has a reaction”. Hence, there has to be an action for an event to happen. Things do not happen for no reason. Everything has a reason, just we don’t understand what that is. Read this post here; and you will see that I was able to find a few reason about why the chain of events took place. It also ties to our responsibilities and we are given a chance for God to fix things that we may have done wrong.

Decision 2: There is no such thing as Luck.

That leaves me with just one reason – Does Karma has a very big role to play in our lives? It is all based on what decisions we make. God provides is with options in every aspect of our life, He asks us to make choice and decide what we are going to do in every single moment. Sometimes, those decisions are just easy to make as they are trivial like eat what at a diner; buy a car. There are other times when these decisions are very difficult to make and are life-altering like this one. But, the choice is ours – we have our free will. Two people in same situation have the capability to think and choose what they are going to do. One of them may chose to pardon sins of another while the other may turn to terrorism or depression. But, the decision is theirs to make. It the sum-total of these decisions that lead to the events in our life.

Hinduism believes in after-life and reincarnation; while Christianity believes in one life. However, in both the religions and some others that I have read about (I am no expert in Atheism or religions and my knowledge is limited) do talk about the sins of your earlier life or your ancestors are carried over to you and you have to pay for it. I have never heard of a religion talk about a good deed to be carried over.That is one reason why I do not believe in a religion, but do believe in God. Religions talk about bad things and then they ask people to come to the Divine shelter of God i.e. the Holy Place. I feel it is self-marketing.. I have arrived at this theory for Karma. Now, I have not read it anywhere, so if someone comes across a text where there is written somewhere, please point it out and I will pass on the credit/links. However, I do want to announce that I did come up with his all by myself.

Rule: Your Karma decides what you get back in life.

God, maintains a balance scorecard for us. It all starts with a ZERO (0) at some point. As we live our life, we are provided with choices – some of those choices are right and other are wrong (how is another topic I will cover later; lets assume to be right an wrong for this conversation). We have to decide what we would do in such a scenario. Based on our decisions, we are awarded points or points are taken away from us. Now, when we go t God and pray for something, or want something in our life, God sees what is our Scorecard and gives is what we deserve. We either get what we asked for or we don’t or we get something in between; but all that is based on what our scorecard is at that time. Once we have been awarded, our scores neutralizes back – it is like earning “Game Points” and spending those in the game for powers to do bigger things.

So, you may be asking yourself, how do I explain the exceptional people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar who were born with talent. My answer to that is that those people had their scores carries from a earlier life. They did some good things and they were rewarded with a head-start. Now, we have people like them with exceptional leadership skills, and then we also have people like Osama bin Ladin who also had exception leadership skills. What they chose to do with those leadership skills was their decisions. A few decided to do good to the world, while other decided otherwise. They will have been rewarded as per their actions.

Now, Karma becomes more complicated when you put people together. Have you ever heard a husband say “My wife is lucky for me” (I have ben saying that for 5 years now) or a father say “My daughter/son is lucky for me”. Remember, we have established that there is Luck. So what is this? It is two people’s Karma’s coming together. We do not decide our Spouse based on their good fortunes, but we try to choose based on what we know of them – what good they have done (or what bad they are capable of if we are negative people to begin with). But, we essentially try to match up. Based on our decisions, we get chances to do more good together and it is our way to build up that balance scorecard. Who we are blessed with (our kids) is a direct result of what do and what scorecard we have. And, it is our chance to make a difference with that kid. God entrusts that child to us and what we make out of him/her is our Karma. How good are parents is a head-start that a kid gets based on their earlier balance scorecard that is a carry forwarded.

 

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