Saturday, April 23, 2016

Freedom & Responsibility

Once upon a time in Singapore, people were free to chew "Chewing Gums". No one really took it as a privilege, it was as normal as any other snack or chocolates available in stores. Few miscreants though started using their creative juices in acts which were not so helpful generally. I have learnt that, people experienced chewing gums left stuck on seats of buses and trains. When the doors on trains auto opened, the Chewing Gums used to stretch and stick on people's faces and hair who were alighting or getting in. It was very simple tool to create mess. Today chewing gums are banned in Singapore and are not available in any stores.

One morning when I was about to leave for work, I noticed my son constructing his world with Lego on the floor. He is 9 years now. As a general understanding & practice at home he brushes his teeth first thing in the morning. I reminded him of that very politely. He did not react. My polite reminder turned into a gentle instruction. And then repeated into a quick life improving lesson. I still got ignored and lost my patience, raised my voice and authoritatively pushed him further. I took advantage of my position and authority to implement what I thought was right thing to do. But in turn he would have felt loss of freedom.

There can be innumerable examples pulled out from our daily experiences around us, which revolve around this wonderful relationship of Freedom & Responsibility. We earn our freedom by being responsible and loose it otherwise.
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During my college days, I felt pretty free & had pride in exploiting the state my health. Eat whatever, whenever and nothing affects me. I felt great about this during my early career years. Working late nights, weekends and boast about it. After few years of fun, the first alarm raised was by my digestive system. Then by my Spine. Then eyes. And so on. Freedom was lost. I was fortunate enough to get good suggestions from around me, which worked and fixed all the issues. I was able to regain my freedom, or I better say I earned it this time.

In my experience, the more responsible we are about our actions, the more freedom we earn and enjoy. The project teams who feel responsible and take actions to build trust within and quality into their deliverables, enjoy a lot of freedom and confidence during later phases of the project delivery.