While Christmas seems mainly a produce of Christianity and, in its more recent form, capitalism, neither is a system that convinces me much. However, for many it is also simply a time to gather with extended family. For us, this hasn’t been the case for many years and so, in doing just this, this year is even more special. Family gatherings can mean many things to different people. As per mine, Osho – a colourful Indian guru who’s teachings are characterized by merging earthy pleasures with the silent serenity of Buddhism – who I like to consult for a daily quote, told the following:
The critical voice is never yours. When you were a child, your father said, “Don’t do this,” and your mother said, “Don’t do that.” Whatever you wanted to do was always wrong, and whatever you never wanted to do was what they wanted you to do, was right.
You are in a double bind. You know what the “right” thing to do is, but you don’t want to do it, so if you end up doing it, you do it as a duty. Then there is no joy; you feel that you are destroying your-self, that you are wasting your life. If you do what you like, you feel guilty, you feel that you are doing something wrong. So you have to get rid of your parents, that’s all. And it is a very simple thing, because now you are grown-up, and your parents are no longer there, they are just inside your mind.
I don’t mean to go and kill you parents – I mean kill this hang-over from the past. You are no longer a child: Recognize this fact. Take the responsibility into your own hands, it is your life. So do whatever you like to do, and never do anything that you don’t like to do. If you have to suffer for it, then suffer. One has to pay the price for everything; nothing is free in life.
If you enjoy something and the whole world condemns it, good! Let them condemn. Accept that consequence; it is worth it. If you don’t like something and the whole world calls it beautiful, it is meaningless, because you will never enjoy your life. It is your life – and who knows? Tomorrow you may die. So enjoy it while you are alive. It is nobody else’s business – neither your parents nor society’s nor anybody else’s. It is your life.