RESTRICTIONS – BENEFICIAL OR DETRIMENTAL?

Early one morning a few days back, I got frantic messages on my phone from the mother of a ten-year-old girl. The issue in hand was that the little one who suffers from Celiac disease had gobbled up a whole big packet of wheat biscuits and two packets of cake the night before!

Those of you who do not know what Celiac disease is may just laugh out loud on the gluttony of the little girl. However, binge-eating is not the issue here. People with Celiac are gluten allergic. So they need to refrain from consuming those foodstuffs containing gluten, wheat being the chief gluten consisting ingredient. Consequently, the range of food items is much-restricted for them.

After painstakingly preparing all delicacies with gluten-free ingredients every day over and above the family’s normal menu and ensuring that her daughter doesn’t miss out on anything, the mother was understandably aghast at her daughter’s doing. And, what did the little one have to say about it all?

Mummy, I was so frustrated being tied down to dietary constraints for the last ten years, that I just thought to flout them and see what it is like to be able to eat normal food which everyone else eats!!

The explanation was, of course, no consolation to the mother who was desperately praying that allergic reactions should not surface!

Ask diabetics how easily they adhere to sweet and carbs restrictions, and there’ll be endless stories for you to savour!

Restrictions limit us from doing what we so feel to do, but should not/are not allowed to do for certain purposes.

I categorise restrictions into the following types –

The first category of restrictions that come to mind is the restrictions put in place by the Divine Lawmaker. The moral laws of the Divine Lawmaker are universal and absolute – with no space for relativism and slackness whatsoever. That is why making light of such restrictions is called nothing else, but sin.

You shall not steal.

You shall not covet others belongings.

You shall not kill.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not look at a woman/ man with a heart of lust.

You shall not dishonour or take the name of God in vain.

These are few of the many restrictions put in place for us humans by the Divine Lawmaker. Let me present the above-mentioned restrictions in reverse order. It would read somewhat like this –

You are free to steal.

You are free to covet and usurp other’s belongings.

You are free to kill.

You are free to be in an adulterous relationship.

You are free to lust after a woman/ man.

You are free to dishonour and take the name of God as frivolously as you feel to.

How do these sound?

Imagine a world with freedoms as the above!

The restrictions which God has put in place for mankind do not serve the purpose of portraying Him as an authoritarian theocrat but are wise prescriptions for peace and order among human beings on earth. The chaos we see all around in the world today is the result of careless disobedience, lack of adherence and deliberate non-cognizance of the divine restrictions.

The second broad category of restrictions is societal restrictions by the country/ society/ family. In the year 1999, Odisha (an east Indian state) was struck with a devastating super cyclone, the after-effects of which echo in some parts of the state even to this day. The casualties were very high, not to mention the loss of property. However, the state did not fail to learn its lesson from this heavy blow. Many cyclones have struck the state ever since, but with negligible human casualties, the reason being, the stringent imposition of restrictions by the administration – fishermen being debarred from venturing into the seas, timely evacuation of the inhabitants in low-lying areas, and many such well-thought-of restrictive measures.

Nevertheless, there are always a few people who resist these restrictions not wanting to leave their houses and livelihood for the sake of saving their lives. Imagine what would be the reality if these people were permitted to do as they wished without adhering to the restrictions!

Medical restrictions for people suffering from certain ailments, mobile phone usage restrictions during thunderstorms and lightning, lockdown movement restrictions, certain travel advisories comprise those in this category.

Ever been penalised for jumping red lights? A price to pay for making light of well-intended traffic restrictions!

The third category of restrictions that I can think of is self-imposed restrictions. These restrictions may or may not be aversive to the well-being of the individual and that of others. In his book My Experiments with Truth, Mahatma Gandhi writes of his self-imposed restriction arising from a firm conviction to abstain from consuming milk. Such a restrictive dietary regimen worked well for him to the end he wanted to achieve.

People switch to vegan or vegetarian diets, give up going to the theatre/ cinema, restrict themselves to wearing certain types of clothes only or restrict themselves from socialising with certain types of people. Such self-imposed restrictions are specific to specific people based on the life principles they wish to live by. Flouting these restrictions would result more in one’s own emotional and personal discomfort, rather than cause major repercussions for mankind at large.

The final category of restrictions is what I consider as forced restrictions. These are restrictions that are forced down the throats of people by significant others, with threats of dire consequences if flouted. One example that I can think of in the Indian context is caste restrictions. Though inter-caste mingling has seen a sea change over the years with many of the restrictions having been done away with (largely in urban areas), restrictions on inter-caste marriages persist invariably. These forced restrictions lead to loss of lives every other day in the name of honour killing – just because some young couple chose not to adhere to these restrictions that were forced on them by elders.

Certain families restrict women from holding jobs outside the house after marriage. In certain countries, women are restricted from venturing outdoors without a male accompanying them. In a certain country, women are prohibited from wearing make-up leading to a thriving smuggling industry for make-up products.

Forced restrictions, though not necessarily sinful are definitely detrimental for the mental health of individuals and pose threats to the development of a healthy society.

Whatever be the category of restrictions, if they are well-embraced by people they do not cause many inconveniences. However, if they give rise to rebellion, there remain consequences to bear.

What happened in the case of the little girl mentioned in the beginning of this article, was a slow build-up of a pressure cooker situation. When the pressure was too much for her reasoning and rebelling mind, the lid simply blew off making her do the unwanted irrespective of the consequences that lied ahead of her.

All we need is a prudent mind to discern which restrictions to adhere to and which restrictions to speak up/ go against hoping to bring out well-meaning progressive changes in the society and the in the world at large.

SNIP SAFELY

When I was in the last year of school, my school introduced a new subject called Environmental Science for all students Grade II and above. We 10th graders heaved a sigh of relief that we had narrowly escaped the burden of an additional subject! Thinking of it today, I feel sensitizing children about the environment is surely a wise step to help them behave responsibly and prudently as adults.

This week as I share ‘My Bit for the Environment’, I must admit that it is a tiny bit in the face of the enormous task in front of the whole world population – but would contribute to make a difference, nevertheless. I also wish to state that the practice I’m going to share is not my own ingenious bit. I had read up about it and have been on it ever since.

Plastics are a known menace to the environment by now. We see and hear campaigns and advertisements to avoid the usage of single-use plastics. Most of the shops in India (with just a random few exceptions) are no longer packing goods in polythene/ plastic carry bags as before and have switched over to biodegradable alternatives. This is a huge step, if the cumulative results are assessed.

But, there is one very easy step which each one of us can take inside our homes and elsewhere too when handling plastic packets – milk packets, noodles packets, biscuit packets, chips/ wafers packets, and such others. When opening these packets, we normally tear off or cut off a portion of the packets. What then happens is that these tiny portions become difficult to be segregated by the garbage collectors and ultimately get added up in the cattle/ animal fodder. Research on dead cows, goats, deer, and other free-moving animals has shown kilos of hazardous plastic bits stuck inside their intestines. Even if these small pieces are segregated to an extent, they cannot be recycled.

What can we do about it at our level?

When cutting open plastic packets, do not severe them into two. Just cut enough to open the packet, while the end remains attached. This way, when you dispose off the packets after emptying the eatables or any goods for that matter, you will be doing your bit in preventing the release of small plastic bits into the garbage load.

Image Source: Google

I have been practicing this act with intent since more than a year and would encourage all the readers to try making this simple hassle-free contribution to the purity of the environment a part of everyday routine.

The pristine environment was the best gift of God to mankind. With inevitable progress of civilizations, our environment feels choked now. Though environmental activists and policymakers have been working relentlessly to devise charters and protocols to save the environment, it is ultimately the responsibility of each one of us to do our bit for the environment. Laws, no matter how well framed they may be, fail if they are not obeyed to the letter and spirit.

Climate change is irreversible. (I’m not stating anything pessimistic, just putting a fact out without delving into statistics and research studies for the purpose of this article.) Having said so, I would go ahead to say that it is definitely within our control to slow the process of environmental decay in many ways.

Let’s do our bit for the environment!

 

LET YOUR SKIN GET THE BENEFITS OF FEASTING BY FASTING

Here begins another week with some fresh brews from Candles Online!!

It is always a good exercise for the brain to make space for new additions to the existing stockpile of vocabulary (applies to all languages). So, this week we’ll be sharing new English words or phrases or expressions that we (the team of writers) have come across in recent times. It’s a week of learning together as readers and as writers, as in all other weeks of course!

I came across this expression which was a lockdown to-do-suggestion for people (especially ladies) confined to the home space during these Covid-19 times.

Skin fasting

Yes, this is the expression I’m referring to. May be some of you know it already, but it was new for me the first time I came across it.

We normally associate fasting with food, especially for religious purposes across cultures and countries. So, I was intrigued by this expression ‘skin fasting’ and dug up a bit on it. Let me share what it means.

‘Skin fasting’ basically means leaving your skin natural with absolutely no make-up or skin care products on it for some time. No face packs, face masks, exfoliants, moisturizers,  sun screen lotions, Grandma’s beauty essentials or make ups!

What does one achieve by Skin fasting?

Skin fasting helps detoxify the skin and allows the skin to undergo a natural maintenance process sans all the skin care and make-up ‘essentials’ it has become dependent on overtime. It makes sense to allow the skin to breathe, after all don’t our nostrils ache for fresh air in the midst of air pollution! So does the skin.

Do not clog the pores of your skin by layers of chemical (or organic) beautifiers for a week (or more) as you spend time indoors (for those of you who actually are) and treat your skin to a week of skin fasting.

I believe it’ll help you know your health as well. Many times we mask our looks to appear presentable, but shut our ears to the calls of the body either to drink more water or to add some essential nutrients to our diet or even to give up some dietary inclusions.

Taking care of the skin that God has blessed us with is very important, rather than merely looking for ways to beautify it.

Let’s do it!

Let me know in the Comments section if you knew this expression already or it’s a new introduction for you as it has been for me (at least I’ll know how much or less à la mode I am) 🙂 

 

FREEDOM SANS RESPONSIBILITY = MISUSED FREEDOM

When little Mercy was not allowed to enter the kitchen or step out of doors without either of her parents accompanying her, she felt caged. A precocious child with just six years of experience on planet earth, she failed to understand why her ‘freedom’ was curtailed. She shared with her Diary Pal how she wished to be free!

Neha was a new bride. Transition from a nuclear family of four to an extended household of twelve hasn’t been easy for her. With the burden of household work and practically no me-time, she wished she could be free.

Jimmy hated his schedule. Wake up early in the morning and exercise before school, heaps of assignments to complete after school, tuitions for helping raise his grades that have been spiraling downwards of late, prepare for periodic tests and sleep off. No time to play or watch TV. To top it all, his mobile has been confiscated by his well-meaning father. At fourteen, Jimmy craves for freedom.

We all have such Mercys, Nehas and Jimmys within us and around us. Oh to have the wings of a bird and fly freely in the sky! But, how do we respond when given such freedom? Freedom is treasured by those who know its worth. It is misused by people who do not value it.

In this article, I’ll focus on the flip side of freedom in relationships.

1. Taken for granted – Shackles are mere objects as many others that one sees around, unless used to bind a person. A shackled person knows the value of freedom like no other. For a person who has never been shackled, freedom doesn’t connote much. As a result there is not much accountability for overt behaviour – be it words or actions. Bonded labourers in faraway lands, treasure freedom when released because once upon a time their freedom was highly elusive. Freedom in relationships is often misused when it is taken for granted. Every relationship is governed by certain unspoken rules of life (besides the clearly charted out ones). These territories of unspoken jurisdiction are the ones which are taken for granted.

The very next day of marriage, the husband decides to make two cups of morning tea for himself and his new bride. This morning routine goes on for days, after which comes a day that he is taken sick. Now if the wife comes back from her morning walk and throws tantrums on not getting her cup of tea, this is precisely a ‘taken for granted’ attitude. Doesn’t this happen often?

2. Lies and Deceit – When freedom comes easy, lies and deceit creep in subtly untaught. Often such lying and deceit go unnoticed till there is a full-blown problem at hand.

A child is given INR 100 to buy certain essentials that the mother requires. On returning, he gives the account of the amount spent and says that he has dropped the remaining amount in the donation box kept in the shop to help an NGO that takes care of orphans. He scores brownie points before his mother for his act of compassion, while in reality he has pocketed the change as a saving for his piggy bank. Another young girl permitted by her parents to spend a night to study with her female friend just before exams, sneaks out to spend the night in her boyfriend’s apartment.

3. Indulgence – Well, this is essentially a foot in the door technique! A little freedom initially emboldens one for more freedom either with permission or with coercion and compulsion. This is a common predicament of the parents of many teenagers, among others. Let me cite a true incident of a young couple who had come to me for Counseling.

A lovestruck couple married young, when both were 21 years of age. After the initial craze of being with each other wore off, the husband felt that he didn’t want to be tied down. He wanted to spend time with his friends (who were of course still studying in college!). The thoughtful wife didn’t throw any tantrums and let her husband have some free time without her. Gradually, those one or two hours of being with friends increased to whole evenings and at times even to night outs, thus annoying the wife. They celebrated their first marriage anniversary with a newborn in their arms. Still the husband’s evening outings and night outs continued. They had their second child two years later. Yet, no change in the young husband’s behaviour and a resultant friction between the couple! A little well-intended freedom created enough room for irresponsible behaviour.

4. Indiscipline – High levels of permissiveness leave no room for accountability. Hence, certain behavioural patterns ensue, sans accountability. Lets consider the common sleep-wake schedules. Without the help of an alarm or a loved one to wake up, most people would end up waking at mid-day. And without a self-check or being prodded by someone to go to bed on time, most people would end up sleeping earlier or later than required and thus would have a chaotic next day at work. Perks of limitless freedom!

In parenting, permissiveness is known for very few guidelines and rules coupled with fulfilling of all the demands of children sans accountability. Thus, children of permissive parents end up exhibiting the same behaviour as adults in their personal relationships and at their workplaces. A couple who have the laissez-faire approach to life are likely to end up with deep resentment for each other within a short span of time simply because their freedom has created inroads to several unwanted guests like anger, jealousy, lack of schedule, etc.

The above four discussed ways of misusing freedom do not in anyway advocate against freedom in relationships. Freedom with responsibility is the freedom that is enjoyed best. Freedom sans boundaries leaves the gateway open for several intruders to invade into our lives and create unwanted pandemonium. After all, not all things that are permissible are beneficial.

The Bible says –

“I have the right to do anything . . . but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything . . . but not everything is constructive.”

YOUR THINGS AND YOU

Ever clung to that old rugged jacket of yours every year when it was time for the annual disposal of ‘things you know you would never use again’? Or an old pair of shoes or that grand old wristwatch of years before?

You are not alone!

Yes, most of us are attached to things in our lives that we don’t wish to part with. Though the phenomenon of attachment as such starts from the pre-natal stage itself (attachment with the mother), in this article I am focussing on attachment with inanimate objects.

Many of us wouldn’t have paid a serious thought to this aspect of our lives. Maybe we have considered it too casual to spare a thought about it. But, actions spell more than mere overt behaviour.

Let’s explore some of the reasons for attachment to inanimate objects.

Memories – I treasure things that I receive from people, irrespective of how low or how high the price tag may read. Those things may be mere showpieces or objects of utility. And, I have a tough time discarding such things after a while. Even things like bookmarks, calendars, those small handmade greeting cards exchanged in school days – are my treasures. They bring a smile to my face. The reason why I consider them priceless and of more value than expensive or branded stuff is the memory of the person or situation attached to it.

On my study table sits a table-clock worth INR 30. It was gifted on my birthday almost twelve to thirteen years ago during my undergraduate studies by a  batchmate. It is precious to me! The reason being that the giver came from a not-so-well-off economic background where even sparing INR 30 would have meant that she cut some of her personal expenses. Though I have the means to buy a better-looking table-clock to adorn my table, I won’t be going in for a replacement.

Memories make us hold on to things. Letting go of certain things would mean discarding the memories attached to them.

Emotions – Inanimate objects, though lack the ability to elicit emotions, have emotions attached with them. This is probably why the first thing that most couples do after a break-up is to return the gifts received during the phase of a relationship. Certain objects make us cry, while certain others make us laugh. For some people, there are things that remind them of an injustice done and so they seem to have a sense of attachment to such objects to keep alive the emotions associated with the wrongdoing.

Security – We must have come across children holding onto their stuffed toys while sleeping. Some children carry their toys with them at all points of time. For children, this attachment is a sense of security. Though all children show this behaviour, it is seen more in children belonging to single-parent families, families where both parents are employed and are not able to spend much time with their children, families having an air of tension at all times and in autistic children. Attachment to a toy or a pillow gives a sense of comfort and security to the tender minds. However, if such a thing is observed in adults, it’s time for therapeutic intervention.

Obsession – Obsessive attachment means showing an irrational fondness for an object. Obsession over things leads to mindless hoarding – especially when there are multiple things that one is obsessed about. Obsessive attachment with things goes beyond a simple desire to possess. It is a subtle indicator of an underlying trait of selfishness, covetousness and a desire to flaunt. If any possession of yours is lying unused completely out of the radar of your memory for more than five years, it’s time for you to let go of it. If you have not remembered it being with you all five years, means there are less chances that you actually need it.

Attachment for inanimate things may be because of any reason. But, the bottom line is that there is an earthly tug in most of us. Knowing and reminding ourselves that all matter is transitory and that we humans are mere sojourners on planet earth is something that would help us shed the pull of material attachment to things and turn our focus to concerns of a higher order.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” – The Bible

 

PATIENCE – A DIVINE VIRTUE

Little Betsy went with her grandfather to the orchard one holiday. As she looked up in awe at the tall strong trees hovering all around, she expressed her wish to plant a tree in her name which would be exclusively hers. Her grandpa smiled and said, “Sweetheart, you don’t plant a tree. You plant a seed or a tender sapling which in the course of many years of sun, rain and hail grows up sturdy into a tree like one of these.”

The virtue of Patience is best tested in situations provoking impatience.

One statement which quite a few first-time moms often make about their baby is, “How I wish s/he grows up soon!” You would know it, if you’ve been there!!

Students wish for disciplined school days to be over soon so that they can experience the liberty of the colourful college days!

A couple in love wish they could seal their courtship in marriage without having to wait any further.

An ailing bed-ridden man wishes his days of suffering would cease soon.

In such and many other ways, all of us wish we never had to wait for something that we desire. However, whether we want to or not, we all have our seasons of waiting.

When we wait with calmness of mind and spirit to let the opportune time arrive, all the while trusting that God Almighty is in control, we learn and acquire the virtue of Patience. But when we fume and fret during the phase of waiting, blaming people, situations or God for the delay, we fail to have an audience with Patience.

Waiting requires Patience as its companion. Patience doesn’t announce its arrival. But as the phase of waiting is over, Patience leaves its seal behind.

DOES PATIENCE ALWAYS RESULT IN JOYOUS OUTCOMES?

We often say – ‘Sweet is the fruit of patience.’ However, this is not always so.

I heard of a couple recently who were without a child even after many years of marriage. When the lady conceived after more than ten years, their joy was unexplainable. They had waited prayerfully and patiently all these years. The lady went into labour while in her eighth month. Alas! She delivered a stillborn baby. This suffering was more severe than the pain of not having a child for more than a decade.

Can we exclaim confidently in such a circumstance – ‘Sweet is the fruit of Patience?’

A young father of a two-year old was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33. He kept his hopes strong even as he underwent sessions of chemotherapy. He posted several vlogs giving honest updates about his health condition and encouraging all to keep praying for him patiently with faith. His wife waited patiently for God to intervene never losing her calmness. Everything came to an end when he breathed his last at the age of 34, last year.

Here again, can we exclaim boldly – ‘Sweet is the fruit of Patience?’

It’s tough.

Yet, it’s a necessary virtue.

WHY TALK ABOUT PATIENCE, THEN?

Let’s weigh the odds.

What do we gain when we are patient?

The biggest gain is peace – peace of mind and peace in the surrounding. Being peaceful ensures that we can handle our tasks with greater competence and ease – be it regarding the person/circumstance provoking impatience or other tasks during that testing phase. Patience leads to acquiring another remarkable virtue – perseverance – which is a higher form of patience. Patience generates hope and hope, it is said, springs eternal in the human breast.

What do we lose when we are patient?

We may lose time owing to inaction. But, any action or reaction done/shown in haste carries with it a possibility of regret. We may lose face before others, who may think that we are not courageous/wise/skilled enough to act/respond. I guess the list end here – we don’t have much to lose when we are patient.

So, why not strive to be patient!  

HOW I PRACTISE PATIENCE?

When I come across people who really put me through tough tests of patience, I consciously bring to my mind how patient God is with me. Being perfect and holy, when He sees me falling short of His standards, again and again, seeking forgiveness yet stumbling again – He doesn’t deal with me as my sins deserve. He is patiently working on my transformation. If the God of the universe is so patient with me, who am I to be impatient with a fellow human being?

Patience is a divine virtue. It cannot be acquired simply by sheer willpower, meditation or motivation. Since Patience is one of the important attributes of God’s character, He alone can embed this attribute into our spirits. It may sound vague and too abstract for some, but you would know it if you tap into this resource.

I make it a constant point of prayer for God to help develop this attribute of His nature within me which would enable me to reflect Him in tough situations and amidst tough people.

And yes, nature. Right from a tiny seed/sapling growing into a tree to a caterpillar metamorphosing into a pretty butterfly, the created nature gives marvellous lessons on patient waiting.

As I write this article, I can hear my sister in the kitchen telling the microwave oven to cook the bowl of Maggie Noodles that she has just put inside, within a second, without making her wait unto starvation!! Patience!!

VALUES: YOU, ME, US AND THEY

Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity of attending several lectures on ‘Good Governance and Corruption’. The learned speakers delivered brilliant talks on these issues, citing numerous instances from the world over as to how seemingly all-pervasive is the cancer of corruption. Acts, Laws, Rules, Regulatory and Supervisory bodies – all in place, but no solution. Each of the speakers was asked this question – ‘How can we get rid of corruption?’

The answers they gave were similar –

Inner attitude has to change.

There has to be a change within!

Be it in any part of the world, certain values are imparted to all from childhood so that they learn to internalize them and live by them as they grow. Some values are deliberately taught, while some others are picked up from observation. However, this does not lead us to conclude that values are not inherited.

The role of genes in the transmission of values is significant. Genes are the carriers of values, the very same way as they carry certain physical or psychological attributes from parents to children.

However, genes are not the sole kings!

The values we have today are the products of the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. And, it is case-specific as to whether the environmental factors or factors of inheritance, have an upper hand.

Recently, I heard of two sisters in their late teens. Their father is an alcoholic and without any employment. Their mother does odd jobs to somehow help the family pull along. The environment that the two girls are exposed to is highly non-conducive to the development of sound values. All they get to see and hear is their drunk father hurling abuses at their mother and them. Despite such an environment, these two girls are extremely well-mannered, helpful, reliable and excel in their studies.

How did these traits develop?

There may have been other external influences (teachers, society, friends) who have impacted the two girls. They may have had the inner determination to rise above their circumstances. I heard some people say – ‘How on earth these two sisters are so good?’

Second case in point –

The son of a highly respected official was arrested for the rape and murder of a young girl. He absconded for years together, settled elsewhere using fake identities, but was eventually nabbed a few months before. His family which was once considered to be disciplined and having high ideals, was shattered.

How did this son imbibe such qualities?

It may not be easy to give a precise answer.

My grandfather was a man of high principles. In his memorial service, many people young and old shared how they had observed his traits of being God-fearing, extremely disciplined, non-compromising, straightforward, impartial, truthful and loyal. Some values which he has taught me are –

Always walk your path in the fear of the Lord; and fear no man. Man cannot destroy your soul.

Always be truthful. It may make you uncomfortable at times, but you will be on the safe side. But if you lie, you are digging a pit for yourself into which you will fall sooner or later.

If God has given you the means, give to the needy; don’t stack up things for yourself.

Besides these, some values which I have picked up from him are the values of being meticulous in his work, punctuality and cleanliness. He was never late to any place and didn’t keep anyone waiting without reason. He was a cleanliness freak; but didn’t go around ordering people to clean up any mess that would be around. He would start clearing the mess himself.

Consciously and subconsciously, I have imbibed many of these values. Genes, yes, would have a role to play for sure. But, I can vouch for what I learned by being taught and by observation.

How we are is being observed by others – both those who are close to us and those who don’t mean much to us. What we are teaching others would impact not only those individuals, but also a few more generations. So, in a way we regulate the genes by possessing certain values. Afterall, these genes would be transmitted to our offsprings. And, we are also in control of the lessons we teach. Apart from the self-concept that is unique to each individual, what is taught and what is inherited shapes a person.

The Bible says –

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The onus lies on us!