The natural law of Choice is a teaching that is fundamental to world religions and philosophies. It is also the cornerstone of democracy.
Choice, whether in politics, in business, in communities, organisations serving others, all have the power to choose. Our own futures and collective destiny is determined by the manner in which we each exercise our own choice.
The principle of choice cuts across all aspects and areas of our lives – from whom to vote for; what we eat; the careers we choose; whom we marry; what values we base our lives upon; how we raise and educate our children.
We are faced with an infinite number of choices influenced too by a bombardment of information from marketing and advertising, books and public opinion – some well-founded, some based on ignorance. And when, we reach our golden years, and are society’s elders, the results that we have achieved in our lives are the sum total of all of the choices that we have made.
Choice in South Africa
South Africa is a paradox – a nation emerging from the tyranny of generational choices that led to the policies and politics of apartheid into a fledgling democracy. It has been through a re-birth under the stewardship of Nelson Mandela whose dream of a united nation in which tolerance and equity for all were the basis of this developing state. The nation then passed through the turbulence of rebellion so typical of adolescence during the reign of Jacob Zuma as president, emerging into young adulthood under the new tutelage of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Within the political landscape, choices made have impacted upon men and women, young and old. Some favourable, others with devastating effects upon the people of this country. This is not a political commentary. Rather it is meant to provoke thinking about the law of choice – so you sow, so shall you reap.
There are lessons for all of us to learn from the context within we live, and move and engage in our world. Choice – is the golden thread that leads us to the outcomes that we realise as we go about our daily living. Most spend their time blissfully ignorant of this powerful and empowering natural law, unhappy with the results of their lives, heaping blame on others – it’s the politicians, the banks, the organisations, the taxis on the road, upbringing, life circumstances and anything that directs focus from one’s personal responsibility for choice.
In building on the foundation of our much loved Nelson Mandela, choice is something that each of us is responsible for. Living life consciously means that in every moment of every day, one is aware of the impending choices that need to be made in order to live life on purpose, to be a contributing, empowered, healthy and functional individual in the context of the emerging democracy that is South Africa (and for that matter any democracy the world over).
The Components of Choice
- Living life consciously – with meaning and purpose, consistently recalibrating each and every day back to aligning with that meaning and purpose
- Understanding that there are consequences for and of choice – whether this be business and leadership choices; political choices; family and community choice and ultimately individual choice
- Responsibility for choice – and yes whilst our constitution includes the Bill of Rights, inherent in these rights is responsibility – or our ability to respond. Rights cannot come without responsibility
- Freedom to choose our responses to life events that occur in and around us over which we have had no control. How we choose to respond to these life events both positive and negative is indeed our choice
The Future is in Our Hands
Whether or not we choose to be a contributing member in the development of this beautiful country that is our home, is in our hands.
I have the opportunity to choose my purpose and meaning over the pressure of conforming to what others want of me, right over wrong, to live my life fully engaged and willing to bring my gifts and talents out into the world as my part in contributing to the potential of all that South Africa has to offer the world.
I know my choice – do you know yours?
Angela is an avid advocate for freedom and choice and her passion lies in transformation, facilitating processes as Storytelling and Experience Economy thinking that encourage people and organisations to access their strengths, talents and potential.