We make hundreds of them every day. Most, like choosing what to wear or what we want for breakfast, go entirely unnoticed. More deliberate, time-consuming choices, like starting a blog, can open new doors and create a whole new world of contacts and relationships (I hope).
Then there are the BIG ONES. The choices that will change the trajectory of our life. What to do when we grow up (if we grow up). Where to live. Who to marry. Do we want children? Will we settle for a dog?... Here we have control, mostly. We can choose our friends. But the family we are born into, the color of our skin, the country and economic strata - those choices are made for us.
I am one of the lucky ones. I was born into a loving family in western Canada. When I was young, we were poor, but we always had food, clothes, a roof over our heads and an amazing world around us to explore. When I was eight or nine years old I recognized this blessing and began being thankful for all I had. So many other children have not been as lucky.
“Child soldiers,” Dallaire writes, “are a commander's dream come true: the perfect low-technology, cheap and expendable weapon system that can perpetuate itself ad infinitum.” It's easy for them to be lured away by armed soldiers who promise to feed and clothe them. Dallaire wants to eradicate the estimated 250,000 children involved in armed conflict around the world. He is actively recruiting Canadian teens to join his Campaign Zero Force (http://www.zeroforce.org/). He hopes to recruit 2.5 million teenagers to 'talk' to the youth in developing countries through Skype, Facebook, text messaging or even in person. "I want them to be disturbed enough about this to do something," Dallaire said. He sees the next generation of students who have been blessed by living in this country become advocates on behalf of those who "are at risk of being abducted, raped, drugged, abused and used as child soldiers."
So can we take the blessing we have recieved and make a tangible difference in someone else's life?
Mildred Taylor says, "We have no choice of what color we're born or who our parents are or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here."
What choices have you made that have changed your life for the better? The worse? If you could live life over again, would you change some of the choices you've made?
PS - Special thanks to Heidi for your persistence. Yes, a blog! Finally.