An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Lessons in Freedom from a kid and a pup

When I reached home, a young kid was talking to my wife. He was selling the weekly subscription for the Sunday’s local paper. You see, unlike in India, very few people buy the daily paper. We haven’t had one for years now. He was a school kid who had to study in a special school as he had arthritis. Unlike the kids in the public schools, he had to buy his own books, so he was trying to earn money. The local paper company was using his need to sell their product, but not without helping him first. So, the more he sold the more he earned not just money – and got books paid for by the company – but also credits of real work. I bought the subscription.

Then I went out to the park. As I was about to cross the road, a little puppy ran from behind me and was about to be crushed by the oncoming large truck, when the driver saw him and stopped it. He was saved, but he kept running. As I crossed the road, the puppy was having his fun in the mud, and then I saw his owner waving across the road and the puppy started running again. He went a few feet and got curious about another tree and then stopped. The owner – a middle aged Asian woman – was now running. As she came closer, the pup started again. He was very near me, I could have reached at him and caught hold of him. While the owner shouted “Please hold the dog”. I didn’t. Why? Because, there was a lot of beauty in the freedom of the little pup. His expression when he ran.. his way of beating his owner and then stopping to enjoy the trees was truly liberating to watch. Plus, I thought, this lady has herded this little animal for so many years. Kept him on leash and dragged along. It is time, he pays her back!

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Then he kept running for another two miles and she ran after her.. until a “Good samaritan” caught hold of him.

The two experiences were examples of Freedom to me. One freedom came through taking responsibility and defeating the tough situation, which the kid selling the paper subscription was paving way for. He didn’t get a good hand in his life, but that didn’t limit him. He was to find his own freedom.

The other expression of freedom was from complete abandon. The pup was so keen at his freedom that he didn’t care whether he was going to be crushed or not. He just ran. He didn’t know how he would survive in this big world or if he will for any length of time, but he wanted to be free.

Freedom and liberation comes from only two ways – either you take the responsibility for yourself and be firm that nothing is there to take or give you anything.. and try and reach a level that is at the highest dimension, or leave yourself to the Nature or God, and just be in total abandon. Either way, liberation is yours.

Totally different situations but a great lesson!

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