Freedom Is Not Worth Having

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” Mahatma Gandhi

When I was young and still in high school, I couldn’t wait to become an adult. The main reason being to be free to make my own decisions. I used to anxiously dream of what my life would be once I was in charge of it. I wasn’t aware of any of the difficulties I would face or any mistakes I would make in the process of growing up and living my life. The only advice anyone gave me at the time was my late father, a great man, who did plain, ordinary, everyday work. He told me to always think twice before I did anything since I and I alone was responsible for my life. And being desperately optimistic I strode forward believing that nothing bad could happen to me. And of course I went on living my life with its ups and downs, full of all the mistakes I made.

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Years went by and I was working and living in Dubai with my husband and two kids. In Dubai, the rules of employment were totally different. First of all you had to have a job so that you could have a resident permit. And second, back then when we were there, if you lost your job or you quit, your work permit got cancelled and you had to leave the country for six months until you were allowed to come back again and start another. And as the old saying goes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, so I was stuck with my job and was sort of hostage to whatever situations I found myself in. A hostage with a job and a place to live.


Looking back I think maybe it would have been better to make some mistakes. Maybe it would have been better to stir things up a bit because as Oscar Wilde said:

“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.” 

Now that I am getting closer and closer to the end and the days of changing jobs and professions and taking risks are way behind me, the only advice I can give to my kids is:

“No matter what the mistakes are that you must make, do not be afraid of having made them or of making more of them. Trust your heart, which is a good one, to be right, and go ahead- don’t stop. If you fall, tricked or tripped by others, or by yourself even, get up and don’t turn back. Many times you will laugh and many times you will weep, but always you will laugh and weep together.” William Saroyan


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