Let’s admit it, free choice is not a luxury we have and the only time we can enjoy such a concept is if we have layers of thick skin and an impeccable ability to dodge criticisms from our friends, loved ones, and most importantly from our immediate family. The only other way we can speak of free choice, is if we decide to live in isolation.
However, we all scream about our freedom of choice as if it were a given. We are even shocked when that idea blows up in our face, and it is only in that moment that we come to terms with that fact that free choice is in fact a myth.
This myth was planted in our heads ever since we were kids when our parents often told us that we can be anything we want to be. We grow up to believe that life is not fair if we aren’t what we dreamed of. But, in reality “Being anything we want to be” is an amazing concept . However, our parents forgot to add to this nice sentiment that freedom of choice comes with a willingness to fight for it, walk away from society for it, and really go after it. Some of us will do that in the pursuit of our dreams, but others will find this fight much bigger than what was expected and they would just settle for a life of meh. The other myth people speak of in the pursuit of free choice is that we are free to dress anyway we like, go anywhere we want, and if we suffer consequences then it is the world’s fault.
Sure there are no laws against image, and in theory we are free to ware as much or as little clothing as we want. But, in doing so we should be able to deal with what life brings. If you want to wear revealing clothing then don’t expect that you won’t hear comments as you walk down the street. Is it fair, no it isn’t but like we said life isn’t fair and your freedom of choice does come with consequences. Similarly if you are wearing a Hijab and you walk into a pub, then expect the weird looks. In both cases you do have a free choice, but people also have the choice to react. Don’t scream it is unfair, because revealing clothes or hijab come with certain lifestyle expectations and you are free to have thick skin and fight them or just accept them without complaining.
We are also free to apply for any job, and accept any job offer we get, but we can’t scream it is not fair the minute we signed a contract. We cannot complain about the working hours especially when we agreed to them, we can’t say it is our freedom of choice to behave as we like at work, because unless it’s our own company it is only the owner’s rules that apply. For example, i spent three years in an organization not convinced of the need to dress formally even when we are working in the office.
I’m simply someone who doesn’t like waking up and putting on a shirt, pants and blazer every day. I can kick and scream about this rule not making sense and I can also chant about my free choice to wear what i want, but the reality here is that the owner is the only person in an organization with free choice, the only choice we have is either to accept it or leave. Since i like the work itself, then i need to overlook the dress code glitch in my contract.
We also don’t have a free choice to go where we want in a city, whether we like it or not equality is not a given in the free economy. The society has chosen that certain places are for certain people. , you cannot talk about your free choice here because your free choice depends on your income. Again, money is power.
For example, the ongoing annual debate about the Abdali Boulivard charging a 2jd entrance fees for Christmas is the right of the business owner. He has the free choice and we as citizens don’t, we can either afford it or not. If it is important to us, we are free to borrow money to go there. Some people can afford to go to restaurants and pay JDD 200 others can only afford JD 5, your only choice is to decide what you want to spend your money on. But, speaking about equality and free choices for all is a myth that needs to stop at our generation.
I think now is a good time for us to abolish this myth of free choice that has especially infected the thinking of millennial society and their younger peers. I think we are better off teaching the younger generation that their actions come with consequences.
This is not a dream crusher we can be anything we want to be, but our dreams do come with consequences and fights we will have to be ready to have. If we don’t want t upset anyone then let’s dump the idea of free choice and live a life of conformity. So, are you a fighter or a conformist? Thwart’s your choice.