This may sound personal but when I look back at my life, I always remember the moments when I couldn’t wait to “grow up”. Being older meant more freedom, more independence, and the picture looked perfect from where I stood at age 10.
Does growing up mean more freedom?
And does every child associate the teenage years and beyond with freedom? Well quite honestly – yes! It means creating your own rules to some extent, being responsible, being in charge and not always having to follow rules. Wow. Is it that simple?
The reality is that freedom comes with great responsibility and in my experience not everyone embraces it with maturity. When I look back, freedom meant opportunities and beyond boundaries risks. I have seen some of my friends fall into the trap and some even now have not escaped.
So what can this freedom actually mean?
It can mean empowerment, enrichment, experience and a way to embrace new learnings without the constraints of being a child. But to be able to understand and evolve with all of the above, one needs to also be at a certain level of understanding.
Freedom means knowing that I can be allowed to smoke 24 cigarettes a day, and not even lighting one up; freedom means taking a short cut loaded with risks, and opting out for a more secure but longer path; freedom means knowing the opposite person will con you and calmly opt out of the situation; freedom means laughing till your belly hurts because you found it funny while the rest of your friends turned a snooty back; freedom means handing over your burger to a child on the road despite the fact that you are starving and grabbing a vada pav instead.
Freedom is a state of mind. And freedom cannot only be associated with youth. Freedom is a power that beckons at every age. Just your priorities are different.
The author is well known educationist Ms Fatima Agarkar.