Those aspects of our lives which are “given” to us are the chances which make us all different.
Which era of history, or location of our upbringing, our ethnic heritage and membership, our genetic composition, things which happen to us without any choice by us, are all part of the lottery of life.
We are partly a product of so many factors beyond our control – our chances.
Those aspects of our lives which are a direct result of our decisions bring elements of responsibility for events, and ability to shape those events to some extent.
Faced with two options, we can choose one and walk that path, not knowing how the other would turn out.
There is no level playing field – our chances in life are very disparate, but we can alter each situation we find ourselves in through effective decisions.
Some events in our lives involve a combination of chances and choices, often with one modifying the other.
By making wise choices we can change the outcome of one or more chances we’ve been given.
Five people with the same genetic (chance) disease may have five different life experiences because each makes different choices about how to respond to their illness.
Seven people born in similar families in the same village in 1750 in Nepal may have had seven vastly different life experiences because of choices each made.
There’s not much we can do to change the chances of our life, but there’s plenty we can do to alter the outcomes of those chances, and therefore our lives and those of others, by making good choices.
If we select goals which improve our own chances, and pursue those goals with determination, we not only fulfil ourselves, but assist many others as well.
However, poor choices will drag us down, and others around us.
Respecting others is a great way to improve the quality of community life, so choosing respect benefits ourselves, our loved ones and those in our networks, as well as our wider society.
John Sherwood OAM