“Choices, Chances, Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life never change.” Not sure who said that but have heard it often enough to know it is true. Have seen all three play out in my life.
As we continue as a world and individual countries to experience this COVID-19 pandemic, the choices people are making are changing their lives and that of others.
Choices: They Are Yours To Make
Let us take a well-known, world-famous athlete and the choices that he made recently. This is not a bashing piece. The aim here is to use a well-known figure to illustrate my point.
A few nights ago, doing my usual thing of going through videos on Facebook Watch, came across one about Usain Bolt’s surprise birthday party. As I watched in horror, kept saying to myself, “This is so irresponsible!”
Remember the post yesterday talking about hype, fake people and social media? Well, one would think that a man with such accomplishments does not need any of this. Just as another celebrity did – Tyrese – Bolt showed that he is not God. Both proved that they are humans perfecting and when that work is done, they will move on.
In his choices to defend his marriage, his life, and everything about himself, Tyrese Gibson made the point for us about self-validation. For his part, Usain Bolt reminded us that our choices have consequences – party with a large group of people during a global pandemic and you will catch COVID-19. Simple.
Choices: We All Have Them
It was 1983 and my former high schoolmate declared that I would not make it through university. I had shared my glad tidings of being awarded a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the former Soviet Union. Looking back, this was probably the first time ‘that something’, i.e., my heart, started communicating with me, trying to tell me, “Enough of people telling you what or who you are!”
That Something returns to me quite often since then. It came in February 2007, after a sleepless night worrying for people who clearly were not concerned about me. A hole was piercing through my heart by an unfortunate and almost deadly event. Despite my pleading, a friend made some choices that would affect her life until this day.
We all ‘hear’ That Something; some more keenly than others. The choice is yours whether to listen, heed or ignore what Something is telling you. Like Bolt, we all read the newspapers, watch television news, listen to the radio and/or check our social media profiles for updates. Information about the COVID-19 pandemic is everywhere. We here at Daughters of Sheba Foundation post at least one such each day.
Hype Life Versus Simply Living
Mine has not been the experience of having millions and millions of dollars. Let us be clear about that. So my understanding of celebrity living that centres around hype and having millions at one’s disposal is null. As I said, this is not about judging or bashing.
Common sense, accessing information wherever you get it from and using your reasoning skills to make informed decisions are essential. Your behaviour will follow based on the choices you make. So too will the results that you see. Clearly, not just Bolt but everyone refusing to wear a mask, maintain social distance or stay home in your bubble of the immediate family are not being responsible.
Of course, it has been tiresome being at home, unable to follow your routine and go to your favourite hangouts. Although somewhat of an introvert and never one to party before this pandemic, since March 2020 my home has been my shelter in every sense of the word.
My husband was murdered, and this is the first time that I am publicly saying this, because he was feeling cloistered and decided to accept an invitation for a quick celebratory drink.
In A Time Of A Pandemic
Although staying close to home for decades now, my life has never been unexciting. The excitement started from the day I was six weeks old and my mother ‘fled’ the home where we lived with my father. “Drama of no mean order” is what best describes many of my years. Filled with television soap opera-type manipulation, outright deceit and lies and betrayal of everything sacred, I have been at the edge many times.
With the murder of my husband in July 2020 and all the “drama” that is unfolding as a result of his choices, those of others to behave in certain ways, and my own, the edge beckoned to me again.
I will be the brightest light! I will not fail, instead I will shine, speaking truth always and defending what is sacred.”
That was my responsible and conscious choice and it continues to guide my life and my choices through this time of a pandemic and being a widow.
Gary Zukav was the teacher who taught me that. His work showed me how to make choices that would lead to consciously living my life. What became clear to me almost 15 years ago is that we can continue our roles in the dramatic productions we get caught in or we can choose how we shall live.
Choose How You Shall Live Today
Asking myself that Big Question, “How Shall I Live?” my choices then and for the rest of my life are:
- Demonstrate honesty in all things and situations.
- Seek justice for the oppressed, feed the hungry, give spiritual sight to the spiritually blind and shine the light of truth in dark corners (minds).
- Help others realize that life is more than material stuff and physical and temporary pleasure (sex, alcohol, drugs)
- Live out the real meaning of loyalty, caring, compassion, and speaking the truth the first time
Yes, I was ready to accept the consequences of my choices. With that came the ability to look in the mirror with no shame, no regrets, guiltless and no remorse.
LIVING WITH YOUR CHOICES
As we forge our way through these most trying times, we all have choices to make. Once made, we live (or die) with the consequences. As Thomas Merton wrote, it is not my task to save anyone. Others will make choices that you nor I ever make but could have made. We all are experiencing this pandemic; we all are in similar places of uncertainty, fear, despair and anguish.
Life will pose big questions, such a COVID-19, and the answers and response will come in the form of choices to be made.
Be careful what you wish for, be careful of the choices you make – you might surely get it and more than you expected! And, your choices could last a lifetime.
Peace and Love,