Friday, March 5, 2010

Burden of Freedom

Once a young boy lived in a small island. It was a beautiful place with trees, a pond and a small hut. Every morning he would be awakened by the chirping of birds on the trees. He would feed the ducks in the pond and watch them swim for hours. He watered the trees everyday to keep them green. He was happy with his island until one day he saw another island far away with beautiful roses. He did not have any roses in his island. He looked ahead further and found another one with a long river and swans. He soon realized that there were many other islands far away, each having something unique about it that his island did not possess. He no longer enjoyed watering the trees and watching the ducks. He yearned for the distant lands. One night tired of watching the ducks in the pond he felt utterly depressed. He cursed god for having kept him confined to such a tiny island when there were so many other places to go. Thinking of the red roses, the river and the swans and so many other beautiful things in the other islands, he fell asleep.

The next morning when he woke up, he saw a ship parked at the shore. He was elated. He was no longer bound to his own tiny island. He was free to explore the distant lands. Before he could get to the boat, God appeared. Filled with gratitude, he thanked God for sending him the boat and giving him the freedom to choose where he wanted to go. "I have granted you your freedom all right, but your freedom has its own limits" replied the God. "The boat that you find here travels only in the forward direction. You can never bring this back to this place again".

He looked back at the blue pond and the trees. He would never get to drink the sweet water from the pond....nor would he get to climb the trees. He would not hear the chirping of the birds or watch the ducks swim ever. He wanted to stay a bit longer in his island before starting his journey. He urged God that he should be allowed to spend some more time in his island before commencing on his new journey since he was not ready yet. "The boat remains parked here. The choice is yours now" said the God and disappeared.

Every morning he would wake up to see the boat parked on the shore. He was reminded of the choice he had. He wanted to explore other places but at the same time was not willing to leave his island forever. The freedom that he yearned for once started tormenting him. He was unable to get rid of the constant stream of conflicting thoughts in his mind.

After years of indecisiveness he finally urged God to take the boat away. The next morning he woke up to find that the boat had disappeared. He sighed in relief. With new enthusiasm he watered the trees and fed the ducks. After a long time he again sat near the pond and watched the ducks swim for a long time.

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