We are more determined as human beings than we are undetermined. The level of our “free will” and therefore our choices, come within a context of fixed variables which are not within one’s control. No one chooses:- Which year they will be born in. This determines which stage of human history they will be born in. - Who their parents will be and their level of competence as parents. - What colour and ethnic race they will be. - Which country they will be born in and whether or not their birth country is free from poverty, war, oppression, dictatorship etc. - The types of natural intelligence they are born with. - Whether they are born with any physical or mental disabilities. - The tragedies that may befall them or their loved ones through developed diseases, accidents, natural disasters, deliberate inhumane acts (e.g. deaths caused by terrorists) etc. There are many variables which are beyond one’s control. So bearing these in mind, I think the most important choices one can make fall into these areas:
1) ETHICS The type of ethics one accepts and level of ethics one practices. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE IN UNCIVILIZED SOCIETIES WHERE THE LAWS MAY PREVENT ONE FROM PUBLICLY PROFESSING OR PRACTICING WHAT ONE WANTS UNLESS ONE CHOOSES SOCIAL DEGRADATION, DISOWNMENT FROM ONE’S FAMILY, IMPRISONMENT AND OR DEATH.) 2) MENTAL & PHYSICAL HEALTH One’s commitment to one’s physical and mental health by practicing the norms which uphold this equilibrium and enhance the advancement of these things. I.e. nutrition, hydration, sleep, exercise etc. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS)
3) WHETHER OR NOT ONE BELIEVES IN A RELIGION & IF SO WHICH RELIGION. Whether or not one follows a religious or spiritual theology, doctrine or practice with full belief of its teachings. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS)
4) ROMANTIC PARTNER Who one has as their life partner if any at all. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS)
5) HAVING CHILDREN Whether or not one chooses to have any children and if so the number of children. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS) 6) EDUCATION/ VOCATIONAL TRAINING/ EXCEPTIONAL SKILL Whether one has basic, secondary and higher education, whether one decides to be trained vocationally, or whether one is born highly skilled with innate abilities, is not a per-requisite for the good life. However, one’s level of the aforementioned will usually limit one’s career options and enhance one’s financial quality of life. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS)
7) CAREER What one chooses to do as a career. This choice is more often than not linked to one’s level of education or training, which may not always be subject to ones choice. E.g. if one is born in great poverty, a time of war, a historical time which law places restraints on certain individuals, severe disabilities etc. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS) 8) PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT One’s level of commitment to one’s personal development both in character and otherwise. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS) 9) PLATONIC RELATIONSHIPS The type of people one chooses to have in one’s life. From family to friends, the type of people whom one spends the most time with will invariable affect one’s life journey. (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE FOR AFOREMENTIONED REASONS) If one lives in a country, a culture, a family, and a time when most of these choices lie within ones personal control, without any pressure, and can be chosen without significant reduction in well being, then one is very fortunate indeed. It is worth stating that even when civil liberties and human rights are fully upheld, there are still many other variables which confine one’s choices within further fixed variables, some of which I explained before proceeding to answer this question.
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|By the author of the comedy autobiography "Mum Knows Best" Veena Nankani - Life Coach, Nutritionist, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Poet, Professional Reviewer and Entrepreneur. www.veenanankani.com|