Who should decide the matters concerning yOUR life?

Posted by Qudratullah Faraz
May 28, 2017



Since the last few years, I have been consistently reading articles and blogs by a very large number of young Indian citizens who are trying to change the face of the society by breaking stereotypes & hypes and also by popping up creative ideas. Despite being averse to certain of their ideas, I appreciate their effort and am inspired by them. Infact, I feel extremely privileged to have been born in this generation.


But there is something which I feel is being grossly neglected by a large number of change makers and would therefore like to humbly point out at that largely unrecognized fact.


Before I continue further, I want you guys to make a choice. Let us assume that a decision X has to be taken. (Decision regarding an individual, a residential building, a locality, …)  Now, who all must have a say in the decision?

  1. Everyone who gets affected by the decision.
  2. A person who is accepted as a well-wisher and has some special quality (intellect/knowledge/experience/etc)
  3. Any random person
  4. Everyone in this world
  5. Some other category

I think everyone will agree with either (1) or (2) or both (1) and (2). But whatever is your choice note in down since it will be necessary to understand the message I intend to convey.


Coming back to my point, be it those who criticize the tradition of parents choosing which course their children should pursue or those who believe that the flat owners and neighbors have got no business whatsoever regarding who enters your flat/room and in which part of the day or those who are against other such customs.  A basic concept they hold in common is- It is my life and it is ME who should decide on all the matters concerning it.


But going by the choice you have just made, let us examine the issue by taking an example. A student wants to opt for Course A while his parents want him to pursue Course B. Then consider the following possibilities-

1. (a) It is the student who will have to study and perhaps make a career related to the course face the economic and other consequences.

(b) As the student pursues that course, the parents will be affected economically and emotionally. (For example if the student takes a lot of stress  it will also affect the parents, or worse if the student resorts to habits like smoking to manage stress, it will also have a drastic affect on parents)

2. If the student pursues any of the course and is later unable to do well in that and/or make a decent career and consequently face economic/physical/emotional/etc problems, then

(a) The student will be affected

(b) The parents will be affected

So what I want to point out is that both the student and the parents will be affected by the decision. Hence if you have opted for choice (1) earlier, then both of them should have a say in the decision. And then what about relatives? Friends? Well wishers? The economy?  (Because of inefficiency, etc manpower is being wasted)


Infact the society at large will be affected. Do prima facie the entire society (world?) should have a say in the decision. But-

  • It is not practical
  • Everyone may not be competent enough to make the decision (For example they may be unaware of the capabilities of the student or the details of the course, etc)
  • Etc

So only a handful of people will be left who will be competent enough to have a say I the decision.


Who is competent and who is not is not the point of this article. Who should say how much say in the decision is another question. What I am merely trying to draw your attention to is the fallacy in our thinking when we utter statements like “It is my life and it is ME who should decide on all the matters concerning it.”

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