ERMA's desk...: To choose is to live !

Living means making choices, every day, all the time. Some decisions are easy, others not so but to live means to choose.

Read ERMA’s commentary about “Choice and Life.”

I was on my way home from work one evening and I got on the elevator alone, I looked up and there was a miniature monitor in the elevator displaying these words – In a Changing World, Choice Matters.  What was ironic is, the next morning I returned to work and I took the elevator up to my floor and these same words were displayed on my ride up. It was in that moment that I began to think about the message of “Choice”. I know I could have taken the stairs but I “choose” not to. I also began to think that not everyone can take the stairs even though the choice is available. Then a thought came to me which was, I could use that phrase as a topic for my article or I had the  “choice” to think of something else. I choose to do the former.

Later that day a staff greeted me and as we exchanged greetings, I was  asked the question how is your day? I replied “ I am having a great one”.  The staff appeared a bit surprised by my answer, so I qualified my answer by saying, I woke up this morning with the intent to come to work and make a difference in someone’s life.  The reply was “I like your perspective”. You can choose to see the glass half-full or half-empty. Again I heard the concept of “choice”.  At that point I shared my plan to write an article for the CE-Scan using the phrase I saw in the elevator.

It is true that we live in a world that is subject to ongoing change. Naturally, there are uncontrollable factors in our world. Some are natural disasters and others are man made. Change is the method by which we learn to live, work, play, meet, and appreciate each together. Immigration is a huge factor but not limited to the only factor in our changing world. When there are floods and tsunamis  we see random act of humanitarianism. In this we see where “Choice” matters. Someone or a group “chooses” to be the answer to a horrific tragedy. When a baby is born the population of the world changed, but then people also die and there is no balance for that scale. It is fair to say, change is what keeps the world alive and vibrant, which keeps us engaged and foster hope for the next generation.

Climate change was a hot topic on the airwaves recently. Daylight Saving Time which requires mind and body re-conditioning. Toll roads are being created in our cities even if we are not in agreement. Housing Market in Toronto & British Columbia to highlight a few hot spots have increased in worth exponentially and has been trending for the last twelve to eighteen months give or take.

What choice do we have in Climate Change, Daylight Saving Time, Toll Roads, Home Acquisition, Birth & Death Rate? Whatever your answer is, it is the right one for you.  In a changing world, people are affected by most changes to some degree, depending on where they live, who they are, their lifestyle, age, experience and what they value. Daylight Saving Time is hard on my body and I believe I speak for a percentage of the working class, but what choice do most of the working class have? In this case, even if a few people were given flexible working hours related to some form of difficulty, that would be a very small percentage. Daylight Saving Time or not, it is business as usual.

In terms of toll roads it is good if you need to get somewhere in a hurry but it is not a first choice for most. On the other hand, it can make the difference between fashionably late and being shamefully late for an event. In this case, the choice is available it is ours to explore.

In the world of Real Estate, they have a saying “buyer be ware” or the most famous “it is a seller’s market not a buyer’s market. What that means is it’s not a market for the person with little cash/asset, it is for the group with a large some of disposable cash/asset. What is obvious in the above scenarios is, “choice” diminishes.

For the person who is looking to make some money on the sale of their home they are rightly positioned to make a good profit. What they do with that money can repositioned them to make a choice in a changing real estate market/world. If the market remains a seller’s market it will attract those with money while creating a population of people whose dream of buying a home remains truly unfulfilled. For these people “choice” diminishes as to where, when and what they maybe wanted to acquire.  Having a home to raise a family is an important aspect in a culture, that fosters home ownership. In others parts of the world homeownership is neither a desire, possibility, or even seen as relevant.

Choices are personal but it is not always viable. In different aspects of our lives, choices are made for us and that is not necessarily good or bad. There is definitely a time and place when we need to have that level of intervention.  This is where leaders find their true purpose. We periodically elect government officials to govern certain affairs on our behalf.  We choose those individuals, with the idea that the decisions they make, will mirror the greater good for the greater number of people. Realistically, we know that not everyone will be happy with every decision, but we hope we can find a balance. I think a more practical statement would be In A Changing World, “Choice” may diminish.

Toll Roads, Climate Change, Daylight Saving Time, and Real Estate to name a few, is a slippery slope to get on.  This is not to say these initiatives are not needed, but sometimes it diminishes the choice of the people our leaders vow to serve. Though they are great ideas, are they for the greater good? If not is it a good “Choice”? When would it be a good “Choice”? whatever your answer it is a good one for you.  I think it is not too much to expect our leaders in the free world to be mindful of the decisions they make for us and be guided by an ethical scope. Whatever level of leadership you are functioning at, take some time to carefully review your “choice” before making the decision because it may be your best service for which you will be remembered.

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