Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Early Morning Thoughts ~ "But They Made Me..." (part 2)

On Tuesday I started a post on choices and the ones we know we should make -- even though we might not want to. What seems to be gaining prevalence is an inability to accept responsibility for those choices. What started the posting was the news report about a major AIDS/HIV organization suing the manufacturer of Viagra for causing people to participate in unsafe sex. My reaction was quite simple - gay or straight, we are personally responsible for the choices we make. We know about unsafe sex, we know that putting our hands through glass will cause cuts, we know that pouring a hot drink into our laps (or our children's laps) will be painful and may cause burns. To stand and say that someone/something made us make the wrong choice is a weak argument at best.

But what about the subtle choices...the one’s that don’t seem that obvious? This calls for going within, and listening to what is within us - regardless of our belief system. It's the listening to the inner self that allows more guidance on the subtle choices. I'm not sure that the four outcomes statement we learned in Science class applies to subtle choices:
I know that the subtle choices can cause a great sense of insecurity and unease. And that's because the outcome isn't readily known. I have to admit that what I am familiar with can not provide an answer that is guaranteed. And I have to focus on, what is for many of us, unfamiliar territory in making those decisions. Of course, I want to avoid the unexpected and undesired outcome, but there is almost no guarantee that can be avoided ... unless,
I make it a guidepost to weigh options carefully - and to listen within as I make the choice.

Listening within sometimes is quite difficult. With all that is around, and all the demands on time, energy and personality...I have difficulty hearing/listening to what is within. To what sometimes is the infuriating small voice that gently prods, softly leads and sometimes merely points. And, alas, it's also the realization and acknowledgement that the choice I make is totally my own and I have to look honestly and openly at the results.

When I force a choice on someone, or have a choice forced on me - the outcomes are seldom desirable or worthwhile, And quite frankly, if I'm having a choice forced on me, or forcing someone to make the choice I want them to make - it usually comes down to manipulation. The manipulation may be subtle (and usually is) or overt and annoying. However, I always have the choice to no longer "play the game" and usually can make the choice I feel is the correct one. Remember, I'm talking about the subtle choices - not the ones such as a work situation where it's the "my-way-or-the-highway" kind of "offer." (Although, there sometimes can be interesting ways to turn those situations.)

A speaker once said that the subtle choices ultimately should fall into three categories:
Good ... Better ... Best ...
Tomorrow, a look at those categories and an introduction to poor Mr. Quimby who has been degraded and made fun of, but actually had the right idea about making choices.

More tomorrow...

fourth illustration -
Listening Within by Morte137


Chucko said...

Great post!

The two most important points IMO:

"We are personally responsible for the choices we make."

"When I force a choice on someone, or have a choice forced on me - the outcomes are seldom desirable or worthwhile."

While the latter is definitely true (though at times, choices may need to be limited to protect individuals), the former is one of the major factors leading to the decline of western civilization. Don't like that you have lung cancer after 60 years of inhaling smoke into your lungs? Sue! Angry that you weigh 500lbs while having McDonald's for every single meal over a span of 10 years? Sue!

Anyway bro, keep up the good work.

Chucko said...

BTW, and terribly off topic, my toon is Giblet on Runetotem Alliance... feel free to ping me in the game. :)