Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Choice in the Matter...

Deep within us all there is the capacity to choose. It sometimes looks as if there is no choice, that we just act how we act, but is that vantage point anything more than an illusion, or worse, an excuse? Is there truly any difference between a person who is kind and a person who is cruel except for the choice to be one way or another? It doesn't always feel like a choice. Sometimes it seems that there is no other possibility for an individual to act any other way than they act...the inherent fate of personality. While it is true that people can struggle with chemical imbalances, mood disorders, mental illness, or deeply ingrained emotional scars that can shape and alter behavior, It is still an unconvincing argument that it is beyond our capacity to take a deep look at the ways in which we behave and make a choice about who we want to be--If not yesterday, then today, and tomorrow.

Every single day, every moment, we all have choices...choices to smile or frown, to be inwardly warm or cold, to embrace or push away. We have the opportunity to choose how we will treat other people. We have the option of dismissing a persons pain or to embrace them with love. We have the option of protecting ourselves from others or to allow abuse to continue. We choose. We choose to hold back our tears or to let them run freely in healing trails down our cheeks. We choose to share our pain or to withhold it from the view of others. We choose to eat a burger, or a bowl of cereal, or an apple. We choose to roll over in bed, turning our back to our lover in a gesture of disinterest or to fall into the warmth of a tender kiss offered in tenderness and understanding. We choose to read to our children, take a walk, or turn on the television for an hour and a half of watching a journey we don't have to leave the couch for. We choose to keep ourselves unavailable to intimacy with others or to make ourselves vulnerable in the face of the unknown.

Does the mentor sitting on a lofty perch realise his ability to crush or lift a persons spirit is power within his control? Does the parent who hears her child's sing song voice as annoying rather than delighting in the moments so fleeting in childhood understand that the capacity for love is never ending and not to be taken lightly? Does a receptionist feel better when she uses a passive aggressive stance over a helpful one--and can she recognise that same behavior in another when used against her? Can we understand that our neighbors tears are the same tears we all cry? Is it any less important to give kindness to a stranger than it is to your lover...or visa versa?

Can we see that we are one? Not just connected...but truly ONE.

Maybe if we take a look inside, and grab hold of the best within each of us, choosing to share that light with each other there would be a lot less pain, tears and anger. Maybe if we understood how deep run the scars we inflict we could take a moment and choose love, kindness, and empathy instead of impatience, rudeness, and disdain. We all have the power within us to choose how we respond to life. We all have the power to love.

We have the power to turn a sneer into a smile. To reach out a helping hand. To understand.
What will you do with that power today?

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