Tenet 3. We are free to choose and willingly accept responsibility for our choices.
We understand that each choice we make has a ripple effect and can either build or destroy. We seek and promote choices that affirm life and increase internal liberation. Peaceful, life-affirming choices made through one’s internal compass will result in deep satisfaction and lasting joy.
Often times the outcomes of our choices are masked by temporary thrills and fun, but we must remain keenly alert and aware of where the choices will eventually lead us. It is not always clear to determine, but we can ask ourselves, “Will this choice lead me down a path to peace and safety, or will it eventually limit my choices and internal power?”or “What is my gut instinct and internal compass directing me to do?” and finally, “Would I advise my child to make this choice?”
Choices that lead to violent thoughts, words, or actions will eventually diminish our internal power, which will lead to feelings of sorrow and despair. At the root of all oppression is someone’s choice to acquire corrupt external power and gain. Such self-gratifying and selfish choices circumvent other people’s choices and strips them of their internal power. Our choices have the negative potential to ultimately dehumanize others, leading to violence which knows no bounds.
The everyday choices we make, however small, accumulate to what we eventually become. If we are making thoughtful and intentional decisions, we will understand that our decisions determine our destiny. In life we are constantly faced with myriad choices. Sometimes it is clear to discern between good and bad choices. However it is more challenging to distinguish between many good choices. There are many that are good, however some are better than others, and a few are best. Some of the best choices we can make are reflected in the Model of Powerful Impact, where our commitment to family and community bears the greatest long-term effects.
Using your internal compass as a guide will allow you to refine your capacity to distinguish which choices are better than others in very nuanced and personal ways. The more you practice, the better you will become at seeing things as they really are, and which paths the decisions you make will lead you.
We are always free to choose, regardless of our situations or circumstances. This may be difficult to fathom at first, especially if there have been decisions made for you, or someone else’s decisions have impacted you in negative ways. However, there is nothing anyone can do to take away your freedom to choose your own thoughts and attitudes.
In the midst of one of the worst human rights violations this world had ever witnessed, Victor Frankl, survived three years in three different horrifically oppressive concentration camps (Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Dachau) during World War II. The one thing that kept him alive was his mental freedom to choose and find meaning. Even if it was something as small as seeing a flower in a field, he chose to find purpose even in his suffering. Later, Professor Frankl would earn a doctorate in neurology and psychiatry, using his war experiences to create LogoTherapy and revolutionize his field of study.
As women, we hold the power to define our own experiences. We have the freedom to make wise and careful choices based on principles that will prove beneficial to us in the long run. We are empowered when we choose actions centered on the best interest of the rising generation. These choices result in generativity, creativity, and growth. This is the model through which intergenerational connections are maintained and strengthened, and a lasting legacy of life will continue forward. We strive to consistently choose a higher path and accept the natural satisfaction and joyful consequences of such choices.
- What are the choices you are faced with each day?
- Regardless of your current situation, do you believe you are free to choose your thoughts and attitudes in life? Why or why not?
- Do you think anyone can take that away from you?
- How is your situation improved by good choices? How are you harmed by poor choices?
- How are others blessed by your good choices? How are others harmed by poor choices?
- What are ways you can take control of your thoughts and attitudes?
- What might be the effects of your positive thoughts and attitudes within your home, community, and the world?
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