Caged Orphans

The squirrel just came inside through the main door and the minute it saw us, it raced back, but not as speedily as it used to be.  Four months before when we came to that rented house, it ran away much faster with panic.  Nowadays these squirrels might be thinking that we are harmless, but seem to have some reservations too.

Leela, my wife, made a peculiar rat-like sound to attract the squirrel.  But the squirrel seems to ignore that friendly call.

With some disappointment, my wife said, “I am giving tomatoes, fruits, and everything…, but not one of them is becoming a friend with me…”

As my wife shared her regrets, I remembered my niece having a squirrel, like her pet.  The squirrel used to move on her shoulders and head, rests within the comforts of her palms, eat food when she feeds her, very friendly, like any other pets at home.

I remember asking my niece, how she was able to befriend that squirrel.  My niece told, one day she found that just-born squirrel, below a tree at her home, finding difficult to move.  She took it and fed milk using an ink filler.  Slowly, the squirrel grew.

For the squirrel, my niece became its mother.  It had never seen its real mother.

The squirrel was an orphan when my niece found it.  For the helpless squirrel then, my niece became not just savior, but its “life” itself.  It had naturally developed an attachment with my niece as a child and mother does.

All of a sudden, how can my wife expect such a bond with squirrels who have mothers?  This apart, they had a huge squirrel community to play and live around?  For the squirrel that barged into our home, it had a rich natural thrive and that is what we call as “home.”  Not just an abode where we reside.  A “home” has many different dimensions other than what we know or perceive.  There are lots of differences between natural existence and artificial comforts.  These squirrels are neither orphans nor abandoned ones?

Suppose we catch one squirrel, cage it, and provide the tastiest food it ever wants, then only we actually orphan them, isn’t it?

By way of caging “life” in the name of pets, we actually orphan them!

By way of “caging” life, we orphan “life!”

My niece actually undertook an orphan and gave it a family!

Undertaking an orphan is completely different from creating an orphan to undertake it!

Both instances are fundamentally poles apart.

Courtesy – Pixabay

Literally orphans mean, those who miss parents.  Somehow, we compensate them by way adopting them so that we can give and replace at least partially.

In short, missing something makes any life orphaned to that specific “something.”

If we create a sense of “cage” around any “life,” we tend to orphan that particular “life” by taking their freedom out.  Thus, they miss freedom as such!

All life feels freedom as their greatest comfort like their parents.  Devoid of that freedom, it can be psychologically orphaned too!

Another dimension of an orphan is the “feel of lacking something” that naturally any life gets by default.  When we have such “lacking feel” compensated, then we feel fulfilled.  At that point, the feel of orphanage withers away!!

Many examples like, children feeling caged while procured by parents, parents feeling caged when they get old and depend on their children, students getting caged feel at school, employees having a coerced sense at workplaces, citizen at the hands of arbitrary leaders or governments, etc., etc., are all examples of psychological orphaning.

In all wherever there is this implied instance of caged feel, then we have just created an orphan out of it.

Let us take a normal family.  We have our families with parents, spouses, children, etc. 

Truly are we serving the purpose of a family like the squirrel’s family?

Of course, the squirrel family has only one intention – survival!

Human families are complex and do not stop just with survival alone.  And we are gifted with 6th sense to deal with all the complexities of life too.  Are we efficiently utilizing these tools to deal those complexities in order to simplify life?

These are some thoughts that we need introspection in order to sort this out.  Orphans by birth or fate are not within our hands.  But certainly, we can prevent being orphaned by any other means.

Below are some of the characteristics of being an “orphan” literally or psychologically.

  1.  Devoid of parents.
  2.  Orphans need compensation for what they actually miss which otherwise they get by default.
  3.  Physically when caged, one can become mentally orphaned.
  4.  Even restrictions would give a sense of “cage” and make one an orphan, leading to orphaned psychology.
  5.  Orphans unless they are “reasonably” compensated would be less constructive in their overall performance.

Let us not coerce any life with what we believe as “correct.”

Instead, let us give them a comfortable terrain where they can find out “reasons” to adapt and adhere to things that we trust as “best.”

People can be wary and naughty in adapting and adhering constructive principles; no doubt about it.  With adequate checks and balances, we have to move forward with wisdom as the guiding light.

“Incarceration” is a kind of preventive mechanism in the name of punishment – a kind of defense system to protect the larger society from seasoned criminals.  Incarceration is applied after due process of a well-placed robust legal system.  Of course, the system have some fallacies which we have to correct by constant iterations.

We may not be able to have an eternal “fix” to any system, but certainly we can “evolve” it to better and better systems!

Whereas, caging a “life” is more than a crime amounting to “sin.”

We can incarcerate for the above reasons, but we have no right to “cage” any life just because we have some kind of influence over the “caged” just by chance.

This CHANCE is a sheer magnanimity of Nature.  We are just here by Chance!!

Not only families have the potential to produce psychological orphans.  This can happen in industries and organizations too.

Wherever there is lack of adequate and reasonable compensation for things that are missed out, psychological orphans can germinate leading to potential underperformance.

If we can evolve and apply this concept with necessary tweaking in the domain of people management, we could have a surge in overall performance of any organization or even a country.

Management experts and political leaders have to start looking into this less explored psychological dimension because, ultimately mind of the nation is nothing but the aggregate minds of its people!

Let us go a step further and not allow people to orphan us.  Successful people are little orphaned by others.  Most of the time, it is those successful people who serve as patron of many orphanages.

And to be successful, let us raise our excellence and qualities in any domain that we profess.  Among the 2 kinds of excellence (outer and inner), striving to have our inner excellence is superb way to escape the cages of compulsions – a true freedom!

I wish my wife at some point in time befriend that squirrel, but never to cage it!!!


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