Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Silly Traditions: Permission To Wed

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

The Tradition

For those within whatever world cultures this applies (maybe it's only here in the US), you are probably well aware of the “permission to wed” tradition. Even if you’ve never done it yourself, you’ve probably heard of it on many occasions.

Basically, before a man proposes to a woman (because it has to be the man proposing with that diamond ring to show her that a man buying a woman material riches is what love is all about), the man is supposed to go to the woman’s father and ask if he has permission to marry his daughter.

Conditional Love Or Self-Integrity

“Yes, dear. I love you. So much. And I want to be with you until death do us part… Or until I go to your father, as tradition suggests, to request permission for your hand in marriage and in the off-chance he says “no,” well, so long! It’s been real!

Now that’s love, baby!

Suppose you were in this situation. Suppose the father said “no.” Then what? Are you really going to just walk away from the relationship, allowing some dude’s selfish opinion to determine one of the most important decisions of your life? Or, because you’ve now asked, been denied, and can’t get in a time machine to reverse course, are you going to say to hell with the woman’s father because you demand the self-integrity to make your own decisions, to which he’s going to detest that you have defied his wishes?

Non-Integral Approval

And, you know… Hold on. I need to backtrack. Because if you haven’t done much if any self-healing work, then you probably don’t know…

One of the biggest Oh. Damn. Really? realizations a person will have early on when doing self-healing work is that people rarely say “yes” when they mean “yes” and “no” when they mean “no.” And they’ve been lying like this for so long that rarely do they even recognize when they do it (or else they somehow faultily see that the “rewards” of non-integrity are greater than in being true). They’ve become devoid of self-integrity and instead react to most of life’s situations based on subconscious ideas such as: Would mom or dad approve of this? What will my neighbors, friends, or fellow church-goers think? What does authority say I should do?

Most people live whole lives like this. Which gets me wondering then: How many fathers who’re asked by a potential son-in-law to marry their daughter say “yes” when deep down they mean “no”?

I don’t feel like it’s some grossly huge number, but I do suspect that the number of fathers who do say “yes” when wanting to say “no” would come as another Oh. Damn. Really? kind of surprise.

Plus, the soundness of a father’s decision-making may not be as sound as average perception would have it appear. It might be thought: By all means, it’s his own daughter he’s giving away. Of course he’s going to say “no” if he doesn’t approve.

I disagree.

When you realize, if you realize, the depth to which the average person is making nearly every decision not by free will as it appears but as driven by subconscious (i.e.: unknown) fears, errant beliefs, and trauma-based directives, you will also realize how it is that a grown man can “give his daughter away” (as if he owned her to begin with… right…) to a man he disapproves of.

To which the soon-to-be-wed man walks away feeling glorious that he got approval (never noticing in his average Joe’s blindness that he’d been lied to), while the father spends his days in regret of not standing up for his true feelings, hoping the relationship ends sooner rather than later, and faking approval in every future instance involving the man.

“It’s About Respect”

Then there's this whole "respect" thing...

Firstly, if the man intends to marry a woman regardless of what her father thinks, what relevance does respect-in-request even play? Because the respect surely isn't going to be for the father. If anything, it would then be to respect a tradition... Which is quite dumb considering that the man would not only be respecting a rather arbitrary-seeming-important, man-made "rule," but he'd be doing it merely for the father's egotistical pleasure.


What's peculiar to me, too, is when some suggest that the father should still be asked permission, out of respect, of course, even if the proposal is made prior to that request.

Hey, Mr. Twangerson. I hope you don't mind that I've already taken the liberty of proposing to your daughter. Do I have your permission for that?

This doesn’t sound much different from me going into my neighbor’s garage to borrow his lawn mower and then storing it in my own garage until it's needed again… though with the provision that after borrowing and storing the mower in my own garage I’d then ask if it were okay to use.

Because that’s respect, right?

Closing Thoughts

Just one individual’s opinion here, but if it has any value to you, “permission to wed” seems to me an absurd tradition. It might appear that in the past it had some reasonable value based on certain cultural norms of the times in which it arose, but really, as noted above, the ideas on which this tradition is based seem more senseless than anything.

As the common man seeks ever more sense, integrity, freedom, and (do I really have to say this...?) love-based love, requesting permission to wed is just one more concept that’s been held on to well past its expiration date.

And I don't know about you, but I know when I see mold on something, it means it's high time to throw it out.

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