Break Free, Un-shackle, Disrobe

Isn't breaking free of something the most liberating feeling? It's almost like you can fly. For a student, the last day of exams. Exiting the city and hitting the open road when you're driving. Crying. Confiding in someone.

The same goes for beliefs. We are groomed with certain beliefs (which is a misnomer because we often don't actually believe those things). And we are often so mired in them that we fail to be tolerant or inclusive of others' beliefs. Every such instance is an opportunity lost – the opportunity to experience that much more of the world around us. Thankfully, as we mature or gain more exposure, we find ourselves letting go of some closely held belief.

As a kid, I used to think that people who smoke or drink are “bad”. Only when I set foot in a hostel in my mid-teens did I realise how completely baseless that notion was. I made several close friends who used to smoke or drink occasionally. I learnt that it is not the person that is bad – it is the act; and that too when qualified with the adverb “excessively”. I relieved myself of one notion; and in the process made a good friend.

Another mind-set is that of vegetarians towards others – invariably hostile. Only when a child gets old enough to ask the following question does he appreciate the different-ness of food habits: “If everyone turns vegetarian, what will everyone eat? Are there enough crops on earth to sustain 6 billion people?”.

Next example that comes to my mind is culture. Being proud of, or holding on to, one's own culture is fine, but shutting out all others results in a person seriously restricting oneself. When you travel to some far-away land and experience the culture there, becoming part of it, you realise what you had been missing all this while by clinging on to the false superiority of your own.

The final instance is that of shame. Right from childhood we are taught to be ashamed of our  own bodies (there is even a childhood rhyme that starts with “shame shame ..” something). This particular belief is so strongly imbibed in us that, even as we grow more comfortable with our bodies, we stoutly refuse to even admit it. If and when we do break the shackles, we liberate ourselves from yet another stifling belief. Rashmi Bansal's post “The Naked Truth” is an interesting (though what some may perceive as radical) point of view on this matter.

Wouldn't it be great if we could disrobe ourself of one such asphyxiating belief at a time? That'd definitely expand our horizons, and add color to our world.

3 comments to Break Free, Un-shackle, Disrobe

  • We all have beliefs is a fact we cant run away from.But, we all try and translate our beliefs into something which is convenient to us.Generally, such beliefs come up for discussions either when one is going through a bad phase or are confused.

  • we do realize a lot of beliefs are baseless as we grow up, but don't we still teach our kids the same beliefs?
    And yes.. people are never bad.. the acts are and more so the reasons..

    finally the rhyme is "shame shame puppy shame.." :)

  • Hey Kiran,
    I started commenting on your blog, and then it was going very lengthy, and I thought I should write a blog itself and link it here :-)
    Can we reason ourselves and follow our heart? - http://dvsquare.blogspot.com/2010/07/can-we-reason-ourselves-and-follow-our.html

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