“Some people believe that without history, our lives amount to nothing. At some point, we all have to choose. Do we fall back on what we know? Or, do we step forward, to something new? It’s hard not to be haunted by our past. Our history is what shapes us, what guides us.
Our history resurfaces. Time, after time, after time. So we have to remember. Sometimes, the most important history, is the history we’re making today.” – Grey’s Anatomy
Loving someone, who claims to love you unconditionally, because it’s your duty to, can be quite onerous.
When you love someone, you would do anything in your power to make sure they know it. You’d always want to see them happy. You would do anything & everything just so you can see a smile on their face. You would think about them day & night, you always want to be with them, you always want to listen to their stories & dream of a future with them in it. You would love them, faults & all.
Now imagine if you were made to love someone because it is your duty to or because you are expected to. Imagine being forced to do everything & anything, even selling your soul if it came down to it, just so they would be happy. Forced to spend an exorbitant time with them. You have to accept their flaws, however much it contradicts your beliefs.
The society tells us that you should always make them feel loved. They teach us that we need to think of the outcome before taking any decisions of our own. We have a set of rules & duties that need to be fulfilled. Without this we haven’t completed our life purpose.
In retrospect, this is exactly opposite of what has been said by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
“You have control over doing your respective duty only, but no control or claim over the results. The fruits of work should not be your motive, and you should never be inactive. (2.47)
Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna, with your mind attached to the Lord, abandoning worry and selfish attachment to the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure. The selfless service is a yogic practice that brings peace and equanimity of mind. (2.48)”
Women have to get married & must be mothers. Men have to earn enough money & get married & continue to provide for the family. They say they have seen the world, they know how it works & so they explain, this is everyone’s main life purpose, this is what needs to be done, and anything other than that would automatically mark you as a Disgrace.
In such a society, how do you expect anyone to grow? This same society criticizes how backward & narrow-minded the country is. They complain that our beautiful country is a pathetic mess. To them I ask, how do you expect the country to change? How do you expect there be progress when the society itself limits their children’s potential & thinking? This same child grows up & the whole process is repeated. How do you expect change when all you want is them to follow traditions thousands of years old?
It’s time for change. It’s time to broaden our minds & hearts & to accept change. We are not opposing all traditions. We are unique because of them. All we are saying that we need to follow them & integrate them in our life in a way such that it helps in growth & not hinders it. It shouldn’t create divisions between genders. It shouldn’t show someone is superior to another. It should be beneficial to everyone.
As parents/guardians/the learned of the society, your “duty” doesn’t end by giving the best of everything; education, clothes, food, and travel expenses. If you’ve done this, it is absolutely amazing & incredible and you are immensely respected for that. But however important that is, it isn’t as important as showing, the ones you have done all of that for, all that life has to offer. You can’t hide one part of the world & show the other. They need to make their own choices & their own mistakes. Teach them to be independent. Teach them that helping others’ & being a good person is more important than making money. Support their dreams. Guide them when they’re doing something wrong.
Tell them as John F Kennedy has said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Tell them that they don’t deserve anything unless they are willing to work for it.
But most importantly, you need to learn when to let go. Let go & let them start their own life & be the change the world needs.
Maybe you are right. Maybe it is important that they too go down your path & do as you say, but that is something that they should be able to decide to do for themselves & not have anyone else dictate what needs to be done.
“It can be scary but we can’t be afraid to change our minds, to accept that things are different, that they’ll never be the same, for better or for worse. We have to be willing to give up what we used to believe. The more we’re willing to accept what is and not what we thought; we’ll find ourselves exactly where we belong”. (- Grey’s Anatomy)
They shouldn’t be forced to love you out of duty. Let them do that on their own. Let them love you without conditions.
Just give them a chance.