Friday, March 2, 2012
Choice and the Freedom to Fail
If "choice" is "freedom" I can't imagine giving it up for someone else to decided for me. Some choices may seem bigger and more frightening than myself; but to not have a say in them is even more frightening. Some of the biggest decisions, the most important, are also the most defining and life changing. Should I go to university? Which one? Should I get married? Should I have a family? All are potentially anxiety inducing and most certainly life changing. I'm fortunate enough that these choices are mine to make. As such, the ramifications of those choices are also mine. Choices and decisions can be difficult, sometimes the wrong ones are made, but it's how you own those mistakes that helps define you as a person. "Choice" is the freedom to succeed and fail. That's why it's such a precious gift and one we should all be thankful to have when we do.
My daughters are very young still, but this is something I want them to appreciate the importance of. It's also something that I, as their mother, must learn to appreciate in them as well. It's difficult to go from a place where you make all the choices for them, to allowing them the freedom to choose; and fail. They're becoming little individuals who must be respected as such. They need me to step back and allow them to make their own choices so that they can learn from them. They'll fail many more times than they'll succeed at first; and it's so hard to not just swoop in and take over. I can see in their eyes how proud they are when they get to choose something, even if it's something small. There is a sense of ownership in what they're doing. They truly thrive on being allowed to be not only independent, but seeing that their independence and choices are important and valued. Learning the value and importance in their own choices will, hopefully, teach them to see the importance and value in the choices of others.