I recently came across an FB page that read "Your life is the result of the choices you make. If you don't like your life, it's time to start making better choices." I really had to ponder this one because my first instinct was to think about all the people who are exposed to some form of suffering in the world - did they have a choice? My initial answer is no, that they couldn't be responsible for the circumstance they find themselves in (caught in war, famine, murder, robbery, etc).
But then I had to think back on some insights received this morning to do with perception and emotion which lead me to reverse my initial answer above. However, there are so many angles to understand this at, that I feel we cannot be so trite and compact in the belief stated in the image below.
It's uncomfortable for me to think about being responsible for all my choices and the outcomes of them because I still cannot make sense of all the angles. I do feel, ultimately the series of choices we make in life (based on perception and emotion) define what we are doing, where we are living, how we are living, with whom we are living, etc. in every given moment. An example for me would be a really bad car accident I had as a teenager. My choices had been: to go to the party I was going to far away from where I lived, to go in a car driven by the older teenage brother of a friend, to get in a car that had too many people in it for its size, to have taken the camera with the big expensive lens with me to the party without asking permission. The result was ending up flipped over several times in a tiny Volkswagen Beetle with huge bruises on my legs and a camera lens filled with swamp water. Hiding a humongous bruise wasn't easy and when my mother saw it I told her I fell. I also hid the camera away deep in the back of a closet, denying I knew anything about the weird stains in the lens when it was found because I knew I shouldn't have ever had it with me.
So, unwittingly we make a series of choices that end us up somewhere, and in conditions that are not always life enhancing (war, famine, etc).
One would argue that a person is not responsible for the monstrosities committed against him such as the Holocaust. And I struggle to say this because I know how awful it sounds... each person made a series of choices that put them in the place they were when that very unfortunate and awful crime against humanity took place. This is an extreme example, but one that definitely makes you think about all the angles/arguments.
There are so many arguments around this. Perhaps it is about numbers. The quantity of people who have made X choice using the resources and tools they have (guns, weapons) then outnumber the choices made by others. Or the "victims" are not cohesive in their actions how they react in order to overcome something - are not on the same frequency (emotion) needed to counteract. I don't know. I don't believe that it is just circumstances at play here.
Which leads me to babies and small children whose parents make the choices for them. This is the ultimate responsibility, the choices we make for our young children that in turn teach them to continue making similar choices that will govern their lives, until something comes along to disrupt it and make them question the validity of these choices.
So my dilemma is this - How do we ever know what the ultimate outcome of any choice we ever make will be? It's my belief (perception) that we don't, no matter how in tune spiritually/psychically you think you are, you will never know 100% if climbing that volcano is going to bring you joy from all the views at the top or if it will start to erupt on the way up.
How each of us handles this (choice made) is different and according to our experiences, beliefs (perceptions) and emotions.