“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of choices.” Stephen R Covey
It is a matter of some regret that this lesson is not taught in schools, accepted by teenagers, modelled by young adults, nor learned all too often until it is too late. Consequently all too many of us are, in part at least, products of what has gone before.
However, good news!
Every single day, every decision, is an opportunity to re-create the future and thereby the conditions we seek to enjoy. There is hope in that circumstance, but there is equally some dread. There is some dread because in order to make those decisions and to take the actions necessary to act upon them – we have to work really very hard.
In one of his metaphors Dr Covey wrote how the most effort expended in launching the Apollo missions was expended during the need to break out of the Earth’s atmosphere, while ‘a baby’s breath’ was all that was need to release the Eagle module from the Moon. The message was that it is really hard to change ourselves, but the further into ‘change’ we go, the easier it is. But I think there was more to it, and that was that, certainly, massive effort was needed to break away from what ‘was’. But once the work was done, it took little effort to carry on doing it.
I’m still at the place where ‘massive effort’ is and continues to be called for. I have what a psychiatrist might call ‘anger issues’ but which I prefer to call ‘tolerance issues’, in that I have great inability to tolerate some things: poor driving (another attempt to kill me was made last night), poor diction, affected behaviour (‘gay’ does not have to mean ‘camp’, any more than ‘manly’ needs to mean ‘hard’), biased press and eternal use of the dramatic media to liberalise us through concentrated bombing.
And I am impatient with my loved ones, less than proactive in terms of exercising my body, and a little lost in terms of ‘working’, in that retirement isn’t bringing much.
But every day is a chance to start again. Including today, including NOW.