‘What if’- a word that comes out of a person’s mouth abruptly when he thinks about the consequences of something he is about to do. Equally, this word has been used by humans after things turned out opposite for them. At these kinds of moments, this word depicts nothing but their infinite regret and fear. Many a time, life puts a man in situations where nothing comes out of his mouth other than, ‘What if’. This is the time when men desire a way back and change things.

As Deborah Tannen once said,

‘We all feel wistfulness and regret about roads not taken’

To err is human. There is no big deal in making mistakes, after all, every failure occurred due to a mistake that provides you with a new way of doing things. Likewise, some people live with the same thinking about regret.  Some define regret as a blessing in disguise. The real definition of regret is a sense of loss and once you realize what you have done and lost, you feel miserable and become careful for the future. Yes, it’s a blessing indeed but only for the ones who make mistakes unknowingly but there are some who do them knowingly just to satisfy their egos.

In its simplest form, a principle can be defined as something that humans are bound to follow either by law or by choice. Every organization, no matter small or large has been built upon some principle. The principle is not just there for the organization but for each and every person working for it no matter at what post.  From educational institutes to restaurants, from workplaces to homes, there are some fixed set of principles made especially for the better working of a certain place. Forget about places, even man walks with principles. Some can be inherited while other self-made.

In today’s age, it is so important to live your life with some principles. If you have no fixed principle, no particular interest that you can adhere to then you are, uncertainly, living an unstable life. Your fixed principles help you in dealing with different matters of life but only the true ones. Yes, it’s right like everything, our principles are of good and bad nature too. Just like the serenity the true principles bring to our lives, the bad ones leave us with ill influence and affect the lives of those around us too. Hence there is a need of proper knowledge and understanding of these principles

Often a time, man panics while giving up on his principles fearing what others would say. Without analyzing the situation, people jump to mock the person who compromises his values. When a person gives up on something for a better outcome, society gives it the name of selfishness. Considering their image, people often let things go wrong rather than allowing people to talk about their morals. To uphold their image in society, they often end up their lives in regrets.

Every family is linked to some traditions that it is bound to protect. From generations to generations, these values and traditions are being passed on and everyone avoids going against them especially the elders of the family. They find it their biggest job to not let anyone break the tradition. Protecting the values of family, the traditions are like conserving the history which is excellent but here is the thing; time is changing and so are circumstances.

Rules should never be broken for anyone but they do require changing with time. How many times have we witnessed humans giving up on their choices, needs, and desires just because it goes against their values?  I cannot even take the answer to this question into count because everyday humans’ especially youth is suffering because of suffocation that these firm principles bring with them.  The biggest cause of depression among teenagers is the sense of emptiness they feel about not being able to achieve their dreams due to unlimited margins imposed by their ancestors.

We have come a long way but even today there are many who are living in old times. With the advancement in every field, students are being granted more and more benefits.  Today they have to worry less for future and career planning as they have so many options and every field provides them with the utmost chances of a secured future. But still, there are many students who have to forcefully settle for something they have zero interest in. There are many families where children are required to choose their careers according to family traditions. If the parents are doctors then it’s obligatory for the child too to follow this line. Similarly, a lawyer would always want his child to take his place and the same goes for politicians and pilots. Choosing any other career than these is like breaking family rules for many. Too much pressure by parents, remorse of their unfulfilled goals and their unhappiness with the imposed fields place them into melancholy for life.

It’s very saddening to see things like honor killings getting a rise in developing countries, especially India and Pakistan. The more upsetting part is that most of the honor killings occur due to intercaste marriages. Teenagers face horrific consequences of doing something that is legal by both law and religion. Apart from that, many a time teenagers are forced to take horrible steps like suicide when they fail to express the desire of their hearts to their elders and are enforced to compromise on what they are given.

Stern principles lead to bad outcomes and when ego joins in, nothing but destruction occurs.  In many areas of the world, villages specifically, women are still not allowed to go out of houses and work. Even if they have gotten some degrees, once they are married their only duty is to build their homes. So many brilliant potential women are chained inside four walls just because the family principles do not allow it.

Despite the world moving forward day by day, there are many remote areas where conservative male guardians of the family’s biggest concern are whether their wives should go to male doctors or not. So many lives of innocent women have been lost after their spouse and fathers consider it against their principles to have their female members checked by a male doctor. Many a time, it becomes difficult finding a female doctor on duty and hence in these kinds of situations, the only thing that matters is the life of a person, not values.

Last but not least, no one showed it better than the last Prophet of Islam (Prophet P.B.U.H) that the power of peace and togetherness is stronger than any of your principle. He was called The Messanger of God everywhere and when he used the same words in one of the treaties signed between the Muslims and their enemies, the latter objected. The Prophet did not argue in return instead he changed the words to ‘Son of Abdullah’ so that the matter does not accelerate and prosperity can be brought easily. There are many examples like this from his life that teaches us how to act according to situations. Although he lived his life with great principles and neatness at the same time he never used his principles unlawfully.

There is no denying in the fact that those who live by their principles live a healthy life but unfortunately today people have adopted principles that only satisfy their egos. The above examples show that principles only look good when they involve compassion and pleasure for others too. Sometimes it is the requirement of time and situation that people put their principles aside and act morally. More than principles, a man needs to have good moral judgment so he knows the proper use of his principles. He ought to be vigilant in the selection of his principles. You can make your life good or please your traditional values by following your principles but the wellness of this world and those around you only depend on how selflessly you act according to the situation.