Why don’t we get to choose our life?

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

Why don’t we get to choose our life?  Come on, is there a more legitimate question than that?  What’s more important than one’s life?  If one’s life is the most important thing one can experience “in life,” how can it be that given a certain age, we are not faced with that choice, literally forced to make such a choice knowing society and civilization will hold us accountable for that choice throughout all future interactions with it?

There is something really strange I find living on this world, in this society, and that’s how little people value the human aspect of their own children.  As property you find much attachment, but as raising responsible individuals who must soon make personally and socially impacting life choices?  Not only do they not bring them up to face the inevitability of having to live a personal life filled with responsibilities entailing consequences that will follow them to their dying day, but they so easily abandon them into the hands of strangers and institutions without really caring about what they are being taught, what they are learning and how that will affect their future life as human beings.  If they seem to care at all, it’s whether the children are equipped to get a job, a profession and will it guarantee a good income.  In short, will they be able to cut it in the rat race?   Values? Ethics? Virtue?  Honor?  Duty?  Trustworthiness? Even temperance or decency?  Not a high priority are they, and how could they be when the leaders themselves are never held to such standards?

Of course that reflects on how the parents themselves were raised; what their values were, and if they had any beyond the previously mentioned: success and money, or maybe for variety, money and success?  And if that didn’t pan out too well, satisfied they didn’t end up making a career of crime and jail time, or securing a permanent position on social welfare.

Obviously, as far as I’ve observed and experienced, nobody gets to choose their own life; they just tumble into some corner or hole society leaves open or unguarded for a moment.  They stand there, leaning on the wall, looking at surrounding walls and wondering, year after year, what comes next; wondering when the next shoe is going to drop if whatever check is going to be enough to fake it through another month.

This is how it all started for me too; I wasn’t anything special.  As soon as “official” grade school began I was installed on the see-saw, severely warned to get those best grades.  Competition was the name of the game, and winning was everything.  I should point out here that as much as “they” tried later with applied political correctness to guarantee everybody a top mark, they still haven’t figured out how in a competitive system everybody can be the best and walk off with the highest mark.  It’s a terrible dilemma, isn’t it.  But I’m sure some Mensa brain is bound to figure it out without violating the first rule of competitive bidding for a dwindling job market: dog eat dog.  Meanwhile everybody is shoved into the brainwash machine and fed the Brave New World belief: “Everybody, believe you can be top dog, and you will be…” Slosh, slosh; slosh, slosh, goes the Big Brainwashing machine everywhere on the planet, 24/7, running full bore in deep wash cycle.

So, back to the original question: what if we got to choose our life or put another way, our purpose in life?  What if we had to sign some societal contract based on wisdom and knowledge handed down through our family generations and our society, dutifully held on to and practiced by our parents, extended families, neighbours, friends, business people, government representatives, religious leaders and so on? 

What if we got to choose our life’s purpose based on the very best that a human society can offer and demonstrate?  How would that be for a start to a young adult’s life, say at the age of sixteen?  Where would we stand?  Would one be able to stand up in any year thereafter, in front of one’s class, or in church or at a community or union meeting, or when accepting a political or other high office, and say, “Thanks to the examples of my parents, siblings, teachers, peers, leaders, co-workers, today I can truthfully say that I understand what it means to be a member of the human race and I have demonstrated those qualities in my life since I chose, and agreed, to do so within this society”? 

And could the community truthfully respond with its own mantra: “We as a people declare this to be an inalienable truth, that inasmuch as it rests within our power as a people to live thus, we have caused no harm to come to any life, or to our world, nor shall we allow such to happen in the future.  By this choice we declare and claim today that we are true human beings”?

I always wonder about things like that.  Seems simple enough to me and I’m thinking, if I can live like that, and I observe that it’s a good thing, why wouldn’t everybody else want to do the same?  And if they do want to live thus, why don’t they?  Why not just stop following stupid and acting stupid?  

Let’s see, where should we begin?   

 

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18 thoughts on “Why don’t we get to choose our life?

  1. Paul

    Count me in! My wife and I were talking about this very topic not so long ago. Consumer capitalism controls the lives of millions in this country. And as you correctly point out, folks allow this “control” to direct their lives without question or thought. And it begins? With the individual, such as you, such as me.

    Reply
  2. franklparker

    I’m thinking you have spent too long in an inhospitable environment. Growing up in post WWII Britain I did get all of those lessons and examples you speak of. And, back then, most of our leaders would have been able to recite a mantra similar to the one you offer for the community. Often it would be only half true – we may do things we believe will cause least harm only to discover later that there might have been a better way. I earnestly believe, however, that back then people did try their best to do the least harm to others and to the environment.
    As time went on, and people began to see that some activities were doing harm, a strong movement grew in opposition to those activities. It continues to grow, despite opposition from much stronger forces, especially in the USA.
    And who is to say that those lessons and examples of values that you and I hold dear were not, themselves, a form of brainwashing? The best we can do is to examine all possibilities and use our intelligence to judge which course carries the least harm and the most good in terms of its effect on those beings with whom we share the planet.

    Reply
  3. gserpent

    This is how I see it. If you are a god or goddess with all the powers to do everything and anything you wanted, wouldn’t you get bored with those powers. Wouldn’t you want to start challenging yourself? At first you would go to places that where you may be wealthy or a leader or maybe be very attractive to everyone. Maybe you would go somewhere that you had certain powers you could use. After doing this a few times you would get bored with that. Let’s give ourselves a real challenge. Let’s go somewhere we have no powers. Let’s call it mortal. We can’t remember anything and have to figure out how to make it through this world without our powers. Just for fun let’s see if we can remember anything like previous lives or where we came from. I see this world as the ultimate challenge, in varying degrees, for gods and goddesses to come challenge themselves and play. I see it as a game of mortal life.
    Great post! I love the ones that make me think.

    Reply
  4. Doug's BoomerRants

    A lot of what you say (and it’s said very well) is based on the nature vs. nurture differences; we are born with certain traits, and the way we are raised and deal with experiences triggers (or not) those traits.
    Values? Ethics? Virtue? Honor? Duty? Trustworthiness? Even temperance or decency? Those are social precepts which are in fact, based on personal interpretation and hence subjective. Society itself evolves and changes over time regarding all these elements. I am sure your grandparents look at the world you were raised in and would shudder with fear at the end of the world as they knew it. Just matters of perspective. In the end all anyone can do is live a life that is morally comfortable for themselves, rather than living a life that you might want others to subscribe to, which is what religion attempts to do.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you very much, Doug. Yes, I recognize the subjectivity (had to look that up) of the concepts. Yet there is an “umbrella” of awareness for all that tells us, warns us, when choosing a subjective concept that one is superior to another. I can choose to save a life; I can choose to destroy a life. There will be reasons for and against in both cases but under the umbrella the “saved” life is the better choice, even if often the more personally costly. As to living a life morally comfortable to the self versus one that I’d want others to subscribe to, I understand your reasoning here. However nothing prevents me from living a successful honourable and virtuous life and using examples from such a life to help others make better choices based on a living example. This is what compassion does. It never demands anything for itself, nor draws attention to itself directly yet it is a way shower, giving an empowered choice to others. I have used other people’s lives as “direction finders” for myself (Gandhi, Bernadette Soubirous, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr. and more recently, two American martyrs, Rachel Corrie and Kayla Mueller). I would want my own life to, in some small way, provide another candle in a dark hallway instead of just sitting around bemoaning an obviously degrading social evolution while trying to take personal advantage of what’s left to enjoy. In other words, the life of an aware being always demands degrees of self-sacrifice. I think, I observe, that this society I live in needs to be reminded of this. The opposite of self-sacrifice is self-indulgence and we certainly can see that such a path is ultimately very destructive to civilization.

      Reply
      1. Doug's BoomerRants

        Very true.. which falls in line with you must do what you must do to be happy with yourself. But it’s like the full circle thing… if you are doing what makes yourself happy, including helping others, then you yourself must be willing to accept help from others (in whatever form that takes.. like simply learning from others) as a method of self-improvement. But the individual is the only one able to determine what to accept as self-improvement. Yeah.. for sure.. we humans need all the help we can get. 🙂

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        I think a “higher” evolved mind being is keenly aware of how much she is constantly receiving in terms of “help” from the society she chooses to serve. I often just look outside my basement suite window, at the street and let all of “that” flow into my mind: the grid out there that is maintained with such efficiency: the gas, the electricity, the sewers, the streets, the lighting; the garbage pickup, the mail delivery. So much more too; much more to it than meets the eyes. Only through deliberate awareness can we gauge it. I serve by choice, and because it fulfills my nature, but I am also being served, more than I will ever be able to compensate for. There is an awesome “good” aspect to society and it must be recognized within the self, in appreciation, in thankfulness. Then there is also the inevitable corruption within the body, so there is need for constant discernment, a kind of sorting out of “the sheep and the goats” (though I really don’t like that image as I happen to like goats!). “We humans need all the help we can get.” How true! I got my help years ago from people you’d never expect to encounter. Why me? I’ve been asking myself ever since. Then I’ve rationalized, “because I wanted it. I wanted something to change me and it was given to me.” “It” came to me in the afternoon of April 19, 1979. Almost 40 years now, of guiding, teaching, prodding, goading, protecting; of dreams and inspired acts; of physical health and well-being. This should be everyone’s legacy. I don’t understand why it is not. The only way I could justify it was by plunging wholeheartedly and joyfully into service of/for others in order to develop empathy.

  5. Woebegone but Hopeful

    This one of these topics where if you could see me, you would note I open my mouth raise one finger, then stop and ponder; then repeat the process several times. Eventually there will come the political discourse and someone would say to me “Sounds like 1984-lite” and that would sound unsettling I am sure.
    Self-sacrifice I can certainly agree on; maybe, just maybe if everyone looked into themselves for their truly spiritual side; the true nature not the dogmas, maybe, just maybe that might help.
    Us Humans eh?

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Us humans, indeed. Need I repeat here that “the Teachers” refused to call us human, but always referred to us as pseudo human? When I asked for clarification, as in, what constitutes a human being, they were surprised I had to ask. A human being, they told me, doesn’t kill. Doesn’t take life, not for any reason: there never is a reason for doing it. Any creature that kills, for any reason, cannot be considered human. That is where we have to begin, Roger. That’s the key. We are not supposed to be predators but the exact opposite. We don’t need to kill animals, or fish, to feed our bodies. I proved that to myself with amazing results. And we most certainly never, ever, need to kill others of our species, either with weaponry, or through oppressive economies. Enough said, I think.

      Reply
  6. RMW

    Most people don’t have the energy or desire to struggle against the mainstream. Sadly, stupid is easier!

    Reply
  7. Phil Huston

    “Everybody, believe you can be top dog, and you will be…” The parental copout when faced when lack of advice that ruined the American generations of the last half of the 20th Century. It has now been replaced with “collaborative effort.” Another amorphous concept with all the depth of a Mojave rain puddle. Personal accountability needs to come with that choice of life’s work. Regardless of how it implemented. But what a concept.

    Reply

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