Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 26 May 2013





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

To live a carefree life

"The person in life that you will always be with, the most, is yourself; because, even when you are with others, you are still with yourself, too! When you wake up in the morning, you are with yourself; laying in bed at night, you are with yourself; walking down the street in the sunlight, you are with yourself.

"What kind of person do you want to walk down the street with? What kind of person do you want to wake up in the morning with? What kind of person do you want to see at the end of the day before you fall asleep? Because that person is yourself, and it is your responsibility to be, that person you want to be.

"I know I want to spend my life with a person who knows how to let things go, who is not full of hate, who is able to smile and be carefree. So that is who I have to be." ~ C. JoyBell C., well known for her poetry, prose, novels, and famed for her philosophical writings, speeches, and love of cakes.

I vaguely recall that 'come or go Chicago,' was a catch phrase from one of Nihal Silva's plays, which caught the imagination of our society of the time.

The whole phrase in the play was "vanda va, pona po, come or go Chicago." It most definitely must be from his play: 'Sergeant Nalla Thambi.' The Tamil phrase at the beginning means: if it comes, let it come; if it goes, let it go. The whole phrase implies a carefree, light-hearted, attitude to life that tends to avoid responsibilities, troublesome effort, and be cheerfully irresponsible.


The expression is, so closely related in significance to our lifestyle, that one has to admire Nihal Silva for the remark. He seemed to have a complete grasp of the people for whom he churned out immensely popular plays that were full of pithy sayings and funny situations, but not much substance.

We Sri Lankans understand that the only way that we can live, is to grow out of the burdens life imposes.

The only way that we can grow out of it is, if we change. The only way that we can change is, if we learn to adopt. The only way we can learn this is, to expose ourselves to the frivolities of life.

And the only way that we can become exposed is, if we throw ourselves out into the open, carefree: "come or go Chicago" style. And we do it. Throw ourselves with frenzy into the uncertainties of life in carefree splendour where life flows at full tide.

People seem to spend more time than ever, worrying about things of varying degrees of significance, from family member's well-being and their source of revenue, shelter, and food, to the performance of our cricketers.


To live carefree means, enjoying a life where these worries do not overwhelm us. Being a carefree person is not necessarily a bad thing.

It means that the individual is casual, easygoing, relaxed, untroubled, nonchalant, insouciant, light-hearted, happy, and so on.

Of course, in extremes, it can also mean lazy, childlike, irresponsible, unconcerned, etc.

Thus, we Sri Lankans, perhaps having a little of both: dream as if we will live forever, and live as though we will die today. Hence, life to us becomes a continuous celebration of the moment. It was Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., known by his stage name Lil Wayne, an American hip-hop recording artist from New Orleans who said: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today a gift. Possibly, he had us in mind when he said it, or must have heard it from a Sri Lankan!

A carefree quality is a whole aspect of life that many people, the world over, fail to understand because they do not see the pleasure in it; and because of their inability, they think that carefree people are careless people.

Carefree means to be free of trouble and worry and care; while careless means marked by lack of attention, consideration, forethought, or thoroughness; not careful. The two are poles apart.

In Sri Lanka, as much as we are a carefree people, we are not a careless people. We have demonstrated it time, and time again, whenever the occasion calls for it. Be that as it is, it also needs be said that, as a people, we are quick to anger.

Anger is like flowing water; there is nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow and not stagnate. For, when it stagnates, it becomes hate.

Hate is like stagnant water: the anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel; the anger that you denied the freedom to flow; like water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, and deadly; and that is hate.

On flowing water travels, little paper boats - paper boats of forgiveness. Hence, allow yourself to feel anger, but allow your angry waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human and humane.

Our bodies need regular washing because we get dirty, everyday. But so do our hearts! Because each day, people hurt us, offend us, forget us, snub us, step on us, and reject us. But if we choose to forgive, everyone everyday, we cleanse our hearts! We wake up the next morning refreshed, pure, and lovely.

However, do remember that we can be the most beautiful person in the world with a golden heart and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at us, but if we ourselves do not know it, all of that does not even matter. Every second that we spend on doubting our worth, every moment that we use to criticise ourselves; is a second of our life wasted, is a moment of our life thrown away.

It is not like as if we have forever to live, so do not waste any of your seconds, do not throw even one of your moments away by doubting your worth. Recognise the important things in life, and focus your attention on them.

This will not create an atmosphere of carefree living, but will reduce a tendency to, over think non-critical issues. Give yourself a break and breathing room from problems.

You can begin to do this by staying ahead of the game with regard to the necessary tasks and functions of the day-to-day life. Difficult, but can be done. Let go of issues that you have no control over. Allow the mind to rest from the stresses and cares of daily life. Recognise no one can live completely carefree unless they are completely dependent on someone else, and that the person they are dependent on is capable of taking care of all of their needs. An example is an infant with a loving mother: the days of our infancy has long gone.

Hence, aim to gather the resources to maintain your quality of life, and obtain those things you need for survival in such a manner, without care, but with conscience. Most of all; make your life a refuge from the world's daily influx of troubles.

See you this day next week. Until then, keep thinking; keep laughing. Life is mostly about these two activities.

For views, reviews, encomiums, and brick-bats: [email protected]


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