Papa, Don’t Preach: Let Me Learn from Life
Do tradition and culture diminish the value of youth?
The conscious people across the world know that our mind is not always found in a static and stable format, it vacillates a lot. Even if you are basically honest, innocent, intelligent and efficient, you have seen throughout your life that the state of mind always changes with time, space and individual. This is universal, true for all. Don’t worry, be merry.
Your parents at home and teachers in school always preach to you that do not do this, do not do that, practice Yoga and meditation; do not make friendship with girls, if you are a boy, they will lure you; do not mingle with boys at all, if you are a girl, they will spoil your life; do not waste time and energy in unproductive ways. Go to the Church or Temple, pray and meditate. Do not go out in rain, do not move around in heavy Sun. Always preaching, always advice. No freedom in the adolescence period. Always restriction, always obstruction.
Still keep in mind that parents are the best well-wishers; life will teach you this when you will be parents, and your parents may not be here on earth to bow your head, express gratitude.
Life is a single chance in this planet. My adolescent period will be there only for a very short period of time, then it will vanish forever. Being a girl, if I do not socialize with boys in school and college life, will I do it after 45 years when I will become a mother of some? So, what’s the meaning of life? Every phase of life must be enjoyed on its own right and as it comes. This was the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s of America. It was almost the same in India and Europe. Teenage pregnancy, drugs became widespread and common as a revolt against parental and social restrictions. In addition, the 1960s witnessed the onslaughts of Communism across the globe as a tool of the youth to challenge market-based capitalism and democracy. It has also vanished quickly but in the way demoralized and ruined many economies.
This encouraged Madonna to sing "Papa Don't Preach" and became the highest-earning singer. It is a song recorded by the American singer Madonna for her third studio album True Blue (1986). It was a combined popular and classical style. Its lyrics deal with teenage pregnancy and the choices that come with it.
Is there a conflict between Yoga and enjoyment?
The wise men know that a good question is half of the answer, and a bad question leads to nowhere. The answer to the above question depends upon your intention. The question is perfect. The best essence of Yoga is the enjoyment of life with a perfect balance between Body Mind Soul for a longer period of time. That is, Yoga helps prepare your body-mind-soul for enjoyment. For enjoyment through this bodily sense of pleasures and feelings, you need to have a strong body and mind. So, you don’t have to worry. Some Indian gurus suggested me the following. The Bhagwat Gita (the suggestive part of the epic, Mahabharata when Krishna advised Arjuna about the courses of a meaningful life through Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga) suggests that we have to do our works with complete dedication but with a dispassionate mind. That is, we have the right to work, but we do not have any right to the fruits of work. Imagine the actions and rewards of a farmer. As a farmer, I may have plowed the land perfectly, sown good quality paddy samplings perfectly, used the perfect combination of water- fertilizer- pesticide. This is my duty. You have the right to do so. But do you have the command on how much rice will be produced during harvesting? Certainly not. It is beyond our control. On the other, another farmer who does not have enough money and hence could not spend the required amount to buy the best seeds and right dozes of water- fertilizer- pesticides. But he has harvested more on a similar plot of land compared to the former. So, the outcome is not at your control. So, whatever you think correct, you must do, and then remain dispassionate about the result. Because the result is not at your hand, only the work or duty is.
It initially appears a conflicting question. But it is integrated into the core. No great work is possible without passionate involvement by the doer- whether swimming, running, trekking, singing, research, study, angling, traveling, artworks and all. The moment your task is over, it is completely futile to suffer from the hangover of the earlier piece of work. That is, if you suffer from regret after the work is done, you must have done it incompletely, or with less involvement or passion. Passionate involvement is necessary, the moment you decide to work on something. The hangover will continuously distract you from your next work, which you will have to do again with passionate involvement. There is no doubt that passion is one of the most important impetuses of life and work.
Am I free to enjoy as I like during adolescence and youth?
Yes, you are fully free to enjoy your life, if you think you are mature and confident enough to do something which is not illegal and harmful. The restrictions are valid for those who are not mature and confident or those who decide the act on the basis of passionate judgment. That’s absolutely a wrong decision. You have to decide dispassionately but act passionately. For, when you are making a decision, you must have to be a judge who must not get involved with the issue passionately, or personally. Then you will be biased. Passion itself does not obey any ethics or norm or righteousness. So, decision making must be free from all biases, but action must be passionate.
Let us discourse with some examples so that your ambiguities will disappear. All the greatest revolutionaries in recorded history have not only disobeyed the then prevailing codes of conduct and morality but instead proposed new norms and regularities. Yet, not only all of them have left the world, but also their strong propositions have vanished from society, and new norms have evolved over time. We read them only in history books. For example, the first revolutionary in human history was Gautam Buddha who challenged this material thinking of humanity. He was the son of a king, hence a prince in ancient India. By conscious choice he disowned everything and took the path of sacrifice to win over ageing, disease and death. After his death, Buddhism ruled supreme in Asia for many centuries but eventually disappeared. During the second millennium, new system was forcibly established in most parts of Asia by a series of cruel ruthless invaders who did not have any ethics and humanity. But that too got extinct in the wave of time.
So, you may feel free to do what you want to do. But you have to judge first whether you have the ability, power and maturity to challenge the system.
So what, I don’t care at all
Nothing matters in life, if you remain happy by doing what you want to do. If you think you don’t require to do Yoga, just don’t do it.
If you want to drink, you may drink as long as you like and you are capable of. But beware of the norms in your country and society.
If you want to mingle deeply with your girlfriend or boyfriend and enjoy a sense of pleasure, no problem. But you alone will have to be prepared to suffer the pain and punishment after the passion is over. Time and tide wait for none.
If you want to leave school and waste your youth, you may do it. But be prepared to suffer the consequences of bad choices in youth throughout the larger part of your life.
If you intend to disobey your parents during the adolescent period and youth, you may do it. But you will not get back your teenage again in this life to become a Hermann Hesse, Ratan Tata, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sunder Pichai, Satya Nadela.
Enjoy life, maximize happiness, help the deprived people. It will give you perennial happiness and contentment.
Still, Yoga and Meditation give you both physical and mental strength to enjoy life as you like it.
Americans have changed a lot during the last 50 years. Family is the top priority in the USA now. That is great for humanity.
Modesty begins at home.
Live and let live.