Not all agreements are made at a table with a pen and paper. We have made many agreements that we are not even aware of. We have agreements with society, with our religion, with our community, with our families, with friends, with school, with workplace and many more. From the very childhood, we are domesticated to live to serve everyone’s expectations because we fear to stand out among others. There is a system to be followed if we want to be appreciated and accepted in this society. But I always ask myself what about me and my expectations? What is my existence in this society? What personal choice am I allowed to make? Am I truly serving my purpose here?, Am I just born to follow rules? Can I believe in something other than what my religion says? Who decided my religion? Why do different religions exist when we all believe in the same Creator?. All I have is questions but no answers. I know most of you have asked these questions to yourself many times. Just because nobody has the answers we decided to follow the rest of the world without even doubting the system that’s being followed for thousands of years. I don’t blame anyone because nobody can change the beliefs that are inherited into us from the very first existence of human life on this planet.
A belief system has a set of rules that the society expects us to follow. Based on those rules we define ourselves, anyone who follows it is categorized as a good well-mannered person and society calls them bad who go against those rules. A very important quality we all have is being judgemental. We judge everything and everyone around us even if it doesn’t concern us. Our mind forms an opinion based on those judgments and we start assuming things in our head which we have no idea are even real. Then we start believing our assumptions and categorize them as good or bad. This raises a question in my mind why do we have to go through this process even when it doesn’t involve us?.
There are punishments defined for not following the belief system, not following society embedded rules which we all have to face. Apart from those punishments, how many times do we punish ourselves for the same mistake, how long do we feel guilty for not following those rules, we suffer, we fear, we lose belief in ourselves, we lose the confidence to take a stand for our personal beliefs and then we just start following the rest of the world. In short, we lose self-identity and become an auto-domesticated human with no perspective.
‘THE FOUR AGREEMENTS’ – written by Don Miguel Ruiz, beautifully explains about erroneous laws in our society. He writes about the four agreements we actually need to commit ourselves to and its importance in changing our lives.
The First Agreement – Be impeccable with your word. Word is the most powerful weapon we possess. It’s like a two-edged sword, if used wisely it can create a beautiful world, if not it can destroy everything we have.
The Second Agreement – Don’t take anything personally. We make assumptions about ourselves based on what the world says. What they say is not us, it’s them. We make everything about us and let it affect our lives. Nobody knows us better than ourselves, why do we believe someone who doesn’t know the whole truth.
The Third Agreement – Don’t make assumptions. We make assumptions about everything and start believing they are true. Our assumptions create stories, we suffer from presumptuous stories and we blame others for our pain. In reality, it starts in our mind and its only true in our mind.
The Fourth Agreement – Do your best. Giving our best in everything we do saves us from self-judgments, guilt, frustrations, fears, and regrets. Giving our best in following the first three agreements can transform our lives.
Reading this book has given me a strong sense to keep the faith in my personal beliefs. We all get self-doubt because of criticism for being different and taking a stand for ourselves but our beliefs make us what we are. Let’s support individualism and support in forming a community where everyone is allowed to make their personal choices.