Despite only having six letters, it’s a small word with big implications. It’s the ability to choose, which is something we’re not born with. As babies and children, we rely on our parents and caretakers to make choices for us: when and what we eat, how often we’re bathed, what time we go to bed, and so forth. It’s a privilege we acquire as we grow older. However, privilege and responsibility go hand in hand and we quickly learn that our choices have consequences. Yes, kids, we can eat ice cream for dinner and stay up late every night, but eventually we’ll suffer from poor health issues.
If we don’t learn those lessons early, the stakes only get higher as we grow up: yes, we can have unprotected sex and drive while intoxicated, but the consequences are more immediate and far more serious. Just about the time we begin to gain some autonomy, our hormones go crazy and we forgo common sense and bow to peer pressure.
How we handle these early choices ultimately shape our lives and determine how we view our right to choose. Do we see them as a responsibility or an entitlement? Do we carefully examine the various options available before making a decision? Are we conscious of how our choices may impact other people?
We make many choices in our daily life. Some are small and insignificant; what outfit should I wear? Some are large and compelling; do I quit my job to pursue my passion?
Life is the sum of all your choices. ~ Albert Camus