“Sit down please, Johnny. It seems that you are not making the right choices. Do you think that your behaviour is a right choice?” asked the teacher.
So making choices starts early these days. Not only that but having to make the “right” choices. This type of right/wrong analysis may be okay in the short term for disciplinary tactics; however, once you get out in the “real” world, how do you define right or wrong? Unless you are studying math, where there is only one answer (objectively), it is all subjective.
If I believe I’m right, and I push my point, argue, emphasize, cajole, even denigrate you with my opinion, what does that make you? Wrong? But who says you are wrong? Me? That person over there, someone at work, the lady at the checkout? Who? How can we reconcile my right-ness over your right-ness?
We can’t…we simply can’t.
What we can do is make a choice that respects our opinions, and then choose to also respect the opinions of others, even if those opinions don’t reflect our own. Pushing and shoving one’s way into another’s mind space to gain their support can provide connectedness; however, it will always be a tug-o-war and probably not on honest ground. There is not one other person on this planet who thinks exactly the same way you do. As Deepak Chopra said, “Don’t hold onto negative feelings by justifying why you are right and someone else is wrong.”
There is also this message from Abraham Hicks which is relative to choices and a right/wrong opinion:
“Many people are wanting to fan your flames of discomfort, because they believe that ‘you’re either with us or against us; if you don’t stand in the same disgust and horror that we are all standing, then you are not with us.’ It’s hard for people to understand that you can not agree with them — and not be against them. That you could be for something, without being against something else.”
There is something special about being able to stand in your own space, complete with your own opinions, and accepting others for their individual amazing ways of viewing this world. To be making choices that resonate just with you.
This modern world we live in, the world that lets us simply plug in without thought (the majority of the time), means that opinions and issues are constantly washing over us, lapping at our feet, sometimes nipping us on the toes, just to make sure we are listening. It takes a lot of energy to settle back, let go of the white noise and set some boundaries around what we take on board.
Finding a personal balance, being the individual you are here to be, while satisfying the masses, is a challenge. But we do have the choice.
While the social norms of expected behaviour will reverberate through our children’s lives, directing them, it may also be a worthy directive to teach the difference between objective right and wrong (such as those maths equations) and being subjectively right or wrong. That is indeed my choice.
So the next time you find yourself listening to someone’s vitriol, with them wanting to get you on board but it doesn’t resonate with you, don’t push back; simply listen, and understand that this is their place. You do not have to join in. You do not have to prove your point, or sell your opinion.
After all, you are you, and no one thinks or feels exactly like you do. Be the choice.