I believe that nobody really has a clear view on what’ll happen in the future. Fortune tellers and those who draft plans on their journals would always encounter contingencies. Nowadays, where society challenges us to ‘act now’, pressure, anxiety, and uncertainty tend to be a problem. Not knowing the right decision is frustrating.
In retrospect, I never thought I’d make it this far. I know I haven’t accomplished that much and I may still be nowhere near successful, but I’m sure I’m somewhere I never thought I’d be.
Growing up with loving and caring parents, whose smiles and happiness mean so much to me, I felt nothing but blessed living under their guidance and love. I think in some way because of this, I grew up very indecisive. I based most of my decisions on what my family had to say. Eventually, this resulted to my involuntary desertion to think for myself. That is, until I reached college.
During my early college years, I had a problem that urged me to transfer to another college. My parents opted that I stay. Not only did we have conflicting choices, but they gave me the freedom to choose between their say and mine.
It was time to choose, not for my family, but for myself. What did I want? Was it really what I wanted? In contrast, was staying the right choice? At that point, I regarded having the freedom to choose a big responsibility… and a headache! But, in the end, I decided to stay and trivial as it may seem, this experience had a big influence in my ;ife today.
There is a saying that goes, “Never make the permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.” But let me share with you a lesson from George Wiegel’s ‘Two Ideas of Freedom’. In a nutshell, he talked about the importance of using our freedom the right way.
Basing on my experience, it was definitely important for me to consider my parents’ decision. But mine, too, mattered. Our choices not only affect us, but the people in our society as well. Having freedom is similar to having power. Freedom comes with great responsibility, and the World Youth Alliance imparts to its members the importance of human dignity. Having human dignity entails having freedom. This is why understanding freedom is important and misunderstanding it would be problematic.
My decision back then led me to where I am now. I had initially wanted the ‘easy way out’, but, was that really what my humanity longed for? Choosing it, would I have been happy? Well I can’t say for sure, but what I do know is that I’m really happy where I am now.
Our decisions matter which is why we must know the choice that would lead us to a life with less regrets. It’s rather contradicting to my opening statement but even though we’ll never know what would happen in the future, we should still take into account the things we do today for it contributes to the terrifying yet exciting world of tomorrow. I don’t necessarily mean that one shouldn’t be subject to commit error. Our mistakes could, at times, be stepping stones to success.
Let me leave you with a quote from the anime ‘Attack on Titan,’
“Believe in yourself… or believe in me and them… I don’t know the answer. I never have. Whether you trust in your own strength… or trust in the choices made by reliable comrades. No one knows what the outcome will be. So, as much as you can… choose whatever you’ll regret the least.”
In life, we’re given multiple options. Because we possess human dignity, we have the right to exercise our freedom to express ourselves and to make decisions. It’s up to us to choose the consequences of our choices.
By Anjeanette Clea-Marie Reyes, regional intern at the World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific. If you want to know more about how the World Youth Alliance views the concept of freedom, you may undergo our Track A Training.