There’s a propensity these days towards making people less free by correcting and asking others to change for us in lieu of correcting and changing self. We mustn’t lose sight of our own fallibility; we must not hold ourselves less accountable for the state of things by judging others by their actions while judging ourselves on our intent. We should give to others the respect of making their own choices based on their individual autonomy, as we desire for ourselves. We’re too often lashing out at others for the way they’ve chosen to live their lives all while neglecting to notice that we’re imperfect creatures living ours!
Do we honestly believe we know best for others? Or have we forgotten that often we don’t even know what is best for ourselves?? The first thing we should do when things aren’t going our way in life is examine our handiwork, our choices, our role and our place in this life. Only after we’ve exhausted ourselves in self-development, self-critique, self-improvement and self-responsibility for our own choices should we decide it time to examine others. Only then. Unless someone is openly intent upon harming us, we should accept their right to live autonomous as well. That is the surest sign of maturity, self-control and self-confidence . .when you can first turn to self for all manner of appraisal, but also for all manner of personal and responsible correction; without impugning that same right to others.
What gives us the right to say we’ve mastered self enough to start correcting others? It’s not our right to decide what is most right for the lives of others, it is theirs. Even if we deem them as mistaken in their personal choices, we haven’t a right to attempt to silence them, nullify them or convey upon them our will instead. It is only when they are willfully harming others that we have a responsibility to step in . . otherwise, we must convey to them the same individual autonomy as we ask for ourselves. Individuals will never fully agree to every single thing or agree on every manner of choice because they are inherently “individuals” . . unique, different, with varied morals, preferences, histories and beliefs. If it’s not harming us directly or if it’s overtly illegal or criminal, we should live with an attitude of live and let live; which is usually the level of respect we would ask for ourselves in return. Arrogant bullying and controlling others is just that – it’s not individual freedom!