Choice - August 19, 2020

Carl speaks about having confidence in our own choices.

Posted
November 8, 2020
woman standing and looking towards three separate paths

Choice - August 19, 2020

Carl speaks about having confidence in our own choices.

Posted
November 8, 2020
JFS Friends -
Life is always full of choices but recently it seems that we are facing difficult choices without the benefit of enough information or the benefit of previous experience. Choices like when is it safe to travel, how do we manage social situations with friends and family, what is the best time to send our children back to school, how do we juggle work and family responsibilities?These choices can feel overwhelming because each of them may have significant consequences for ourselves and those we care about. In these situations it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and a sense of feeling frozen and unable to choose. As I was thinking about this I was reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt who said:

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
I found this viewpoint to be very helpful – it reminds us that while we always strive to do the right thing – the worst thing we can do may not be making a mistake but rather giving up all control by doing nothing and “not choosing”. Do nothing robs us of the opportunity to influence th eoutcome on our behalf.
 
Hannah Harrington, author and Professor at Pattern University in Oakland, CA says it this way:
“Whatever you decide, don't let it be because you don't think you have a choice.”

 

The idea of using our own voice has become a very important concept in the disability rights movement where it is expressed this way:
 “Nothing About Us Without Us”

 

This phrase was the title of a book by the same name by James Charlton originally publish in 1998 that was based on interviews he conducted over a ten-year period with disability rights activists throughout the world. The book expresses the conviction that policies impacting people with disabilities should not be developed without the voices and input of the individuals that these policies intend to impact. Since the publication of this book the concept has become a common rallying cry among many historically under-represented groups.
As you face the choices ahead – whether in the area of work, social life or family – don’t forget that you know better than anyone else what you need and your voice and your choice matter. We all may make some miscalculations along the way that require course corrections but in the end itis better to be calling the shots rather than reacting to choices made without our input.
Wishing you a good week.
Take care,
Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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