Monday, March 21, 2011

Choice and Accountability

It's a new week and I would like to start a new "Life Skill" (created by Ranae Johnson, Rapid Eye Technology).  I have written about "Thought" and "Perception" and it is time to move to the third which is "Choice and Accountability".   

I have learned about choice and accountability my whole life; when we are young we learn that when we touch something hot we get burned, when we go too fast in the car we are subject to a speeding ticket, and there are other numerous "action to reaction" laws in play.   "Every new moment and every situation provides a new choice, an opportunity to do things differently and produce even better results."---Ranae Johnson
There is a story of two twin brothers reared in an abusive alcholic home.  The boys were removed by  Child Services and placed in separate foster homes, and did not meet again until 30 years later.  One of the brothers was a shabbily dressed, alcoholic, street person, begging for handouts.  The other brother was an attorney.
     The alcoholic brother defended his position in life by saying "How could you expect me to be any different?  Our parents were alcoholics and they treated us like dirt.  We were unwanted and I learned early to drink and steal to survive.  Life has been tough; I am what they made me."
     The lawyer brother had a different perspective (life skill #2!).  He said, "I chose early on that I was going to do things differently.  I wanted a good life so I stayed away from drinking.  I also learned to approach relationships differently.  I went to school and therapy.  I still have work to do, but life is going quite well.
      Twin brothers coming from the same heredity and environment obviously made different choices.  One settled for survival and was a "victim" of life.  The other chose "life" and took responsiblity for his choices.  'It's not the hand you are dealt, it's how you play the cards that makes the difference.'

 "The thing about 'choice' is that we are always 'at choice' to choose again!  The word 'choose' in the Webster's dictionary means 'the power of choice, to select, make choice.'  The word 'choice' means 'The act of choosing, selecting....that which is preferred, the right of power of choosing.' With choice there is power." ----Ed Cook Jr.   He also tells us that there are 344 references in all of the Standard Works of the word choose, chosen and choice!  While, when using the word "decide"(from the latin root 'to cut off' and 'to separate' and 'to pass judgement' and from the dictionary: to bring to and end.) we are "ending" our choices.  Think of the words that end in "cide": suicide, genocide, homicide.(very definite endings).  

      "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."   (Gracie Allen)
We have been given agency or the right to choose from the beginning!  In the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 12:27 it states, "And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil."   
 I love that I can choose again, it is kind of like hitting my "undo" button!  I may lose time (there are consequences for our choices), but I can choose a different thought to move me forward in creating a day that I prefer over one that I may have started.  

This morning I woke up to rain and an empty house; I chose to sleep a little longer and was really tempted to sleep the day away because there is no one home for me to be accountable to, but since I have started my blog,  Thought"full"ness, I feel a responsibility to post every day(unless I am sick, of course, and even then I think about it).  So even though this day is now into the afternoon, I can and will choose to make the best of it.   The best may be in catching up on a little housework(does it ever end?  NO!) and maybe even starting a new book.  What will your choices be today?
                    "Everything can be taken from man except the last of the human freedoms,
                    his ability to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances-
                    to choose his own way."    ------Victor Frankl

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