I believe in the power of choice

Anne - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on February 21, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the power of choice.

I believe that every second of every day is a decision point on which our lives can turn, for the better, or not. To quote an old soul, “the present is the point of power”. At every moment, we are always empowered to make choices in our lives. Those choices can be based on anger or fear or they can be based on love and compassion.

I have been a high-school graduate without a college future. I chose to persevere and find the funding on my own, and make a bachelor’s degree happen for myself.

My talents may have been untested, but I chose to perform as an actress in avant-garde theatre, chose to perform in a local chorus, chose to display my paintings in venues in Atlanta, chose to send my cartoons out and get them published. I chose to believe in my talents when few others would. These choices enriched my life and others.

After nearly a year of unemployment, with inevitable foreclosure and bankruptcy breathing down my neck, I chose to follow up on a rumor of funding for the professional certification I needed for my next job. The funding was real and within a few months of earning that certification; I had that job I needed. It was too late for my house, but I had at least begun on the path of re-building my life. It was just a rumor but that choice changed everything.

We all face hard times, unbelievable set-backs, and tests of our patience and even humanity at times. So many people live projecting their past into the future, strangling their future’s potential before it even arises. Ram Dass knew the value of the present moment, and said, “Be Here Now”. Something as simple as refusing to project the past into the future, as simple as taking a breath, feeling into your heart and gut and feeling what it is to be here, now, can give you the tiny space to make a choice that can change your life.

In every moment, there are an infinite number of possibilities for us to choose from, some seemingly absurd, some supposedly obvious, many simply un-considered. In each and every moment, all of us have the potential to mine those infinite possibilities and create opportunities for ourselves to stretch and grow and develop in ways we could not have ever predicted.

I believe we all have choices, and I believe that by living in the present moment, we can create rich and rewarding lives for ourselves.

This I believe.