Choice: the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision ~ Merriam-Webster
Choice is such a funny, little word. It’s something that many take for granted, but choice is one of the most powerful concepts in existence.
Everyday we wake up and make any number of choices throughout the course of living our lives. Will I be happy/sad today? Will I be un/successful today? Will I help/hinder another soul today? We may not think of these choices that directly, but we make them nonetheless.
In the Bible, choice is often referred to as “free will,” a gift the Lord bestowed upon His creation, a so called, “right to choose”. Serve the Lord, or don’t. This is the choice God gave to man at the beginning.
I’m bothered when I see people working to take choice away from others because choice is an individual responsibility.
That does not mean choice is without consequence.
I am not suggesting that we throw up our hands and allow everyone to do what they will and punish them afterwards. However, there are some choices that society simply cannot make for an individual. We do not naturally agree to a single standard of living. We have differences of culture, tradition, gender, sexuality, experience that do not lend themselves to a monolithic societal organization.
We cannot force others to believe in the same way that we do. We cannot make people behave in a certain way.
What we can do is share our thoughts and our love with one another. We can apply protective measures to protect the young, the elderly, the infirm and other groups who are vulnerable do to circumstances beyond their control. We can expose others to the ways in which we live our lives. But the truly brave part of that sharing is learning to be okay if others do not agree with or wish to continue taking part in these shared experiences.
Let every man (and woman) choose as God instructed, and I believe a lot of the conflict we seem to be drowning in will lessen. In that space, we may even find that there are other things that we agree on and can work together on to help one another in love.
This is really not the post I thought I was sitting down to write but clearly I needed to attempt to put this into words.
~ Marta C. Youngblood
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.