Misfits!

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The juniper in the garden is free as well as chained to the soil

You should acquire freedom within these constraints!

Phool, Bang-edra, Iqbal

Society has its own ways we are taught. Bold and the beautiful are always admired, every society yearns for those who are the prodigy of its social consciousness. For us these are the engineers, doctors and business men. The high achievers, high salaried people who are seen as the pinnacle of our society. If you are among them it is good and your every thought, your every activity is admired. As long as you stick to this it is fine, as soon as you start deviating, those who were with you will be looking with disgust at you. Those who were your buddies will go away, your parents, your relatives will disown you. Why? Because you are a misfit, you are someone who said I am going to discover life on my own.

Society is judged by the way it treats the misfits. If you are asking to quit your profession and start up a business you are a misfit, if you want to marry according to your own wishes you are a misfit, even if you want to marry before your elder sibling you are a misfit. In some circles, even if you are having a beard you are a misfit, you are wearing a hijab you are a misfit. If you are opting to study according to your desires you are a misfit. In my experience, I have heard stories about people from all these misfits. If you desire to have a simple wedding you are a misfit, if you are not going to demand dowry from in-laws you are a misfit. The list goes on and on and on . . . . .

Freedom and patience is needed in every society i believe. We have to play an enabling role. We have to altruistically love everyone. We have to stop judging. We have to make this society free from all such dogmas and traditions and chains that it is imposing. People’s lives are involved, families are involved but we in our own ego, fail to see all this. We have to revamp our behaviors and our attitudes for those who think otherwise. Because it will be an oppression of the highest order. This freedom is needed for an individual to think freely about all the possibilities that his potential self can achieve. This freedom is not haphazard, it is not crazy but an organized thoughtful quest of living one’s own life. Our society must be supportive of this freedom. Instead of making misfits, psychos, we have to make humans human.

When, therefore, it is said that the interests of Islam are superior to those of the Muslim, it is meant that the interests of the individual as a unit are subordinate to the interests of the community as an eternal symbol of the Islamic principle. This is the only principle which limits the liberty of the individual, who is otherwise absolutely free. The best form of Government for such a community would be democracy, the ideal of which is to let man develop all the possibilities of his nature by allowing him as much freedom as practicable.

Iqbal in Islam as Moral and Political Ideal, 1909

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