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The courage to embrace freedom

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We may complain that we lack freedom, but how many of us are willing to spread our wings and risk our lives to chase freedom?

Once there lived a peerless poet named Vishnu.  He was bestowed with poetic skills that would leave the listeners spellbound.  Vishnu decided to write poetry on his King and his achievements in the hope of taking home some gold coins.

The next day, he visited the kingdom of Vijay Raja and recited his poetry, which without doubt lionized the king.  The king was overwhelmed with joy and requested Vishnu to stay in his palace for a few days.  Vishnu was on cloud nine.  After all, not everyone got a chance to be a guest in a palace as big as that of Vijay Raja.  The king then instructed his minister to treat Vishnu with all the respect due to any guest in the palace.

The minister took heed of his majesty’s words to take care of Vishnu wholeheartedly.  Vishnu and the minister strolled around the majestic palace.  The minister showed him around all the halls, rooms, swimming pools, gardens and verandas in the palace.  As they were walking through the veranda, amidst an open porch at the front held up with most ostentatiously detailed pillars painted in brilliant white, Vishnu saw a huge cage with a parrot in it.  The minister said, as he neared the cage, “I feel jealous of this parrot; the cage is made of gold, and the swing is made of silver.  It gets fresh and tasty food to eat in silver cups every day.  But it still looks unhappy.”  The parrot was constantly wailing the words, “I want freedom, freedom, freedom.”   Vishnu felt pity on seeing the parrot.  The minister continued to walk him over to the rose garden and then the backyard.  Vishnu thought to himself, “Everything in the palace was jaw-dropping except for the parrot who was crying for freedom.”

Freedom takes a lot of courage, change and responsibility.

That night, Vishnu couldn’t sleep.  He was agonized over thoughts of what is life without freedom.  He decided to take a look at the parrot.  As he neared the cage, the parrot woke up and started screeching, “I want freedom, freedom, freedom.”  Vishnu felt pity on the little parrot; he broke the cage open and spoke to the parrot.  He said, “Now you have all the freedom you cried for, go fly high.  Be free.  Live the life you dream of.”  But the scared parrot remained inside the cage.  Vishnu thought to himself, “Maybe this bird is still scared to fly.”  So, he pulled out the parrot from the cage and threw it high into the sky.  He felt jubilant at the sight of the parrot flying and went back to his bed to have a peaceful nap.

The next day morning, he saw a few of the king’s guards around the cage.  He thought to himself, “Let me leave before they find out who did this.  But for one last time, let me satisfy myself by looking at the empty gold cage.”   Vishnu made his way to the cage.  To his astonishment, the parrot was still in the cage, again crying out the same words, “I want freedom, freedom, freedom.”

Don’t you feel as if you too are like the parrot that likes freedom but doesn’t want to move out of his comfort zone?

Freedom takes a lot of courage, change and responsibility.  The parrot was comfortable in the golden cage with a silver swing to play on, with the visitors who came to admire him in the cage, with tasty and abundant food and enough space to fly – from one end of the cage to the other.  Once the parrot was set free, it realized that it had to search for its own food and build its own shelter and had to save himself from his enemies – all by himself.

The parrot forgot to realize that freedom comes with responsibilities!

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