We must make choices every day.
We must make choices every day. Many are trivial. What shall I wear? When shall I get up? What shall I do today? But some of our choices are very important. Am I going to vote? Who shall I vote for? How do I treat my neighbors? How will I respond to all the pain and suffering in the world? Our answers to these hard questions come from our beliefs, biases, and our worldview.
Making the right choice
“I see that the path of progress has never taken a straight line but has always been a zigzag course amid the conflicting forces of right and wrong, truth and error, justice and injustice, cruelty and mercy.” Kelly Miller
Making the right choice requires you to know what is right, and what is wrong. Right and wrong as Kelly Miller state in her quote progress is never a straight line. What is right today may be wrong tomorrow? We have some guidance from the laws of the land, from our churches, our parents, and society. But ultimately your right and wrong are up to you. Your right may differ from what I come up with. Some guidance I use to think of what is right.
Don’t intentionally harm another person.
Does it relieve pain and suffering in the world?
Speak my truth to power.
Listen to the answer.
Dialogue with others rather than dictate my point of view.
Obey the law when no one is looking.
Care about all people because we all are a part of the same humanity and inhabit the same planet.
Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
Understanding that your choice affects more than you.
Hegel points out the difficulty in society today. Many people think their definition of right is absolute. Thinking you are right and everyone else is wrong puts you on the path to disaster. Since we each have an internal belief and biases that lead us to our right, it is important to understand that each other person feels they are right. The key here is to find a common right. An understanding of right and wrong that we can both live with.
Finding the common right and wrong requires discussion and dialogue. It requires a common understanding of the problem and then a solution that allows both parties to be right. In our world today, we suffer from trying to find solutions to too many hard problems without first realizing that both sides are right. A few of our country’s problems that need civil discussion and dialogue to find solutions rather than spout ideology are.
Healthcare- Is everyone in our country entitled to the same healthcare, or is good healthcare only available to those who can afford to pay for it? Should everyone have access to healthcare?
Justice- I think everyone will agree that the Justice system needs an overhaul. The tough questions come about when you try to define what that means.
Housing- Is everyone entitled to safe housing or is it only the result of your economic status?
Minimum Income-Should there be a minimum income from the government, so we have no one living beneath the poverty level? Should we have a minimum wage?
Federal vs States Rights- Should the right to vote be a federal right and not subject to limitations and impediments from the states?
As you can tell from these questions, the choice is not always easy. We each have an answer to each of these issues that flow from our beliefs and biases. However, we must ponder these questions along with many others, discuss them and dialogue with others, and try to find common answers that work. As Hegel said above if we both believe that we are right then this will only result in tragedy.
How do you help find the right choices?
Here are some things that you can do to find the right choices:
Realize that your truth isn’t absolute, it is what we have taught you to believe.
Recognize that everyone has a view of the truth and the right choice is to find common ground through civil discussion and dialogue.
During times you meditate, pull out your truth, and examine it. What are your assumptions, biases, and areas where you need more information?
Find someone who has a different truth than you and talk to them and try to find common ground through thoughtful questions.
Now is the time in America when we are electing our leaders. Please consider the above, make your choice and then VOTE!
“No matter what the situation, remind yourself, I have a choice.” Deepak Chopra.
“I believe we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word and thought throughout our lifetime.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.