Saturday, 16 March 2013

Constraints are protection

Freedom is meaningful only when it is constrained by laws.
An uprooted tree enjoys absolute freedom. There is no constraint on it.
Birds are example of meaningful freedom. They are free to fly anywhere, but they willingly return at the dusk to their nests.

Constraints add meaning to freedom.
Constraints render a greater service to us. They are protection to our life.

In our country, India, traffic rules stipulate that we should drive by the left side of the road. India is democratic nation. Each individual has freedom of travel. In theory we may claim freedom to travel through any road by any side. What will happen if people started to travel by all sides of the road without any restriction? None will reach home safely. So traffic rules are constraints on our freedom to travel wherever we like and however we like. But these constraints are protection.

What are really rules? They are constraints on our life. The difference is that they are self imposed constraints. They are implemented by our consent and willingness to obey. Most of them are formed after an outcry for them. Rules are self stitched gowns we wear gladly.
All because constraints are protection.

Rules are discomforts to our free life. Man is born free and really wants to live without rules. A society without man made rules is a dream of man. In famous writings like the Republic, Utopia, etc. man express his wish for a free society.

Man is first constrained by divine laws. Whether we agree or not, there are many laws that existed from time immemorial to this day without any change. No society of any time has appreciated alcoholism, fornication, adultery, theft, bribery etc. But alcoholics are increasing in number, adultery is increasing, bribery still exists and so on. In spite of its naked existence, no society has accepted it as a healthy way of life. Who made all these laws? Let us call these kinds of laws as divine rules.

There are social laws. We call them values and traditions. Every society has certain values and traditions. Indian society is not as free as the Western society. But gradually the westerners are realizing the worth of Indian social values and traditions.

Nations make laws for the welfare of their people and country. These are created out of a collective conscience of the people in the nation. Democracy in my country and in many other countries around the world offers freedom of speech. But this freedom must not be used against our neighbor or the nation.

All these rules are constraints on our life. Without any argument we also agree that they are protection to our life.

There are two kinds of constraints:

1.       Laws of the nation
2.       Values and traditions of the society.

Both are discomforts.
But they are protection to our life. Life is meaningless and unprotected without values. A valueless life is unprotected.

Respect values and traditions. Keep them close to our life. Observe them throughout our life. Teach the younger generation the protection they offer and instruct to observe it.

Professor Jacob Abraham

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