Sorry, Mr. Emerson

Trust 30:  Day 21
…nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

When it comes to making choices I went through a phase of relying on only myself to make those choices.  I held on to this philosophy of “nobody else on the planet knows how to live my life better than I.”  Fortunately, this was a short phase.  I feel this is a selfish way to live and benefits nobody, including myself.

To be sure, I am directly influenced by any choice I make and so I do need to make choices that will make me happy and to fulfill my needs.  However, it cannot be denied that my choices have a direct impact on those around me, mainly my family.  I can’t go about like a child or a self-centered adult announcing decisions I have made, then justifying them by saying, “Well this is how I know how to live my life. I know it better than you.”  

I can’t do that.  And I can’t expect anyone to tell me that it would be okay for me to do so.  Perhaps, even, this may be what is contributing to a great deal of arrogance in this world.  The fact remains that there are just times that I have to put what I want most of all aside and put the needs of my family first.  It’s not a matter of giving in to the idea that someone else knows better than I do in living my life.  It’s a matter of making a choice that is responsible for the moment.  

I am tired of adults running around and wailing about lost chances and missed opportunities, and asking about when it will be their time to accomplish certain things.  There is a reason why we age.  With age comes new chances and opportunities.  It’s not the time to chase after the past.  So yes, while nobody else on earth knows better than I do in regards to how to live my life, nobody else has the family I have or the responsibilities I have either.  

I had a chance to fight for something when I was wronged.  I could have fought to clear my name.  It was in my nature to do so, as I was being taken through a wringer of a time.  My husband was encouraging me to do so.  My son was oblivious to it all.  It should have been an easy choice.  But I chose not to.  Why?  Because I knew, deep down, that the ramifications of my choice would have directly impacted my husband and my son. It would have been selfish of me to choose what I wanted over the needs of my family.  Over their future needs.  I wouldn’t do it.  If given the choice again, I still wouldn’t do it. 

It’s always easy to say, “Be true to yourself, nobody else is like you — you’re an original and nobody can make your choices for you.”  The reality of it all is your choices will always impact others.  Always.  And it is naive to think otherwise.

And so, I disagree with Emerson on this one.  I may be true to myself, but part of myself is being tied to my family.  They always come first.  Perhaps if more people thought through their actions and choices more, tied them to those they value, there would be less selfishness.

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

C. Streetlights
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I wrote and illustrated my first bestseller, "The Lovely Unicorn" in the second grade and I've been terrified of success ever since. Published by ShadowTeamsNYC and represented by Lisa Hagen Books