The feeling of love is immediate. It cannot be forced. But even this feeling becomes a choice. A choice to act upon.

In ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows’, Dumbledore told Harry, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” The emotion, and the attached exclusivity and essentiality of love is not entirely unjustified. A powerful emotion, that balances in a spectrum of joy and heartbreak, love is an exquisite feeling. And in turbulent times like ours, this feeling is a welcome respite. But despite the power of love, is it justified when it crosses the limits? Is it justified when it becomes uncomfortable for the object of one’s affection? Everyone feels the emotion of love, in fact, everyone wants to feel it so. In this conflict, could we claim that love is an active choice?

The initial response to a good experience is that of being in awe of it. We come to appreciate and elevate the experience or the person. Sometimes, this awe or appreciation solidifies into a strong connect. Love, then, is a very natural ‘process’. It is instant and gradual, at once. The realisation takes time. But once registered, the follow-up action in the process is to act on the instinctive emotion. The question then becomes: “How do I seek the validation for my emotional soaring?” or “Will I find a reciprocal of my emotions in the object of my affection?” Falling in love is not the difficult part. It is a great fall. And like every fall, what matters is really the resilience to carry on, to rise up and seek. Or to act on the love felt.

“Essentially, seeing as how we seek a reciprocative response to our emotions, and also that our generation is in a fix about the idea of commitment, love is really a choice,” says Apoorva Singh, a third-year student at Hindu College. She adds, “It is a choice because over time, it becomes a practice of your own volition. Your emotional responses can change, for one. And so, as the time goes by, love becomes increasingly a choice.”

Truly, in its initial or even in its later stages, love becomes a choicely celebration. If you do not feel the urge to act on an amorous feeling, you can always sideline the same, hoping that it will ‘pass on’. Simply because love cannot be enforced, nor imposed on the other. It is an inherent feeling. But the subsequent acting on it, is a perfect model that works out and calls upon our awake consciousness. So love becomes an active choice, doesn’t it?

Feature Image Credits: NBC News

Kartik Chauhan

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Our generation is accused of being fickle minded and afraid to commit. Is there any truth to these stereotypes, and if yes, why is that a problem? Read on to find out more.

Our generation gets a fair amount of backlash for having a dicey stance on commitment. Making generalisations regarding a number of people would be problematic but most of us experience some kind of commitment issues, especially in school and college. We are accused of hopping from one partner to another, while not making the effort to stick to one. However, we are not the most commitment phobic generation to date; we are just the ones who have the luxury to be most vocal about our commitment issues. Greater social acceptance of casual dating and exploring our options has given us a sense of liberation that our predecessors did not have. With greater permeability of the media, we can see how even the most seemingly perfect relationships can fall apart.

A greater understanding of the world and its mechanisms gives us the privilege of speaking out loud about our issues. The idea of love and its universality are not thrust on as vigorously as they were on our parents and grandparents. We are free to fall in love with someone, but equally free to fall out of it; we are free to be drawn to someone but equally free to not be chained to them. The kind of liberation that comes with this knowledge, allows us to question narratives that have been forced on people through religious doctrine and social norms.  The idea of “forever”, “soul mate”, and “sacrifice” are actively questioned and challenged today.

Therefore, what some have tried to describe as commitment phobia is actually a greater understanding of human behaviour and the emotional needs that come with it. The hesitation towards being tied down to one person is aggressively portrayed as undesirable. It adds to the narrative that projects this generation as fickle minded. It makes us shy of getting attached to one person.

All in all, millennials are not people who are more commitment phobic per se; they are simply more self-aware. We have seen things like public breakdowns of the most seemingly stable celebrity marriages, and with access to resources like the internet, makes us question anything and everything; the idea of “forever” is another notion that is effectively challenged.

The fear of commitment comes from the knowledge of understanding what commitment takes. This generation does not tend to make life decisions based on glorified ideas written in scriptures, but, by using rationality and logic; we try to find what suits us best and work along with it.


Feature Image Credits: Optimum Performance Institute

Kinjal Pandey

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