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Choice (by Lynn Ungar)

There isn’t a right answer.

There just isn’t. The game show

where the bells ring and the points

go up and the confetti falls

because you got the answer

is a lie. The preacher who would assure you

of how to attain salvation

is making it all up. The doctor

who knows just how to fix

what ails you will be sure

of something else tomorrow.

Every choice will

wound someone, heal someone,

build a wall and open a conversation.

Things will always happen

that you can’t foresee.

But you have to choose.

It’s all we have—that little rudder

that we employ in the midst

of all the eddies and rapids,

the current that pulls us

inexorably toward the sea.

The fact that you are swept along

by the river is no excuse.

Watch where you are going.

Lean in toward what you love.

When in doubt, tell the truth.

–Lynn Ungar

Happy May Day and Beltane Blessings to you all. As I sat with a small group last night, a poem unfolded before us, weaving words that seemed to echo the very emotions I'd been grappling with for some time. It was as though the poet had reached into the depths of my soul and put into verse the essence of my innermost thoughts.

The poem served as a powerful opening to our gathering, laying the groundwork for a conversation that would prove to be both illuminating and deeply enriching. As we delved into its verses, each line seemed to unravel layers of shared experiences and emotions.

One theme that resonated profoundly was the concept of freedom—the freedom to choose our paths, our actions, our destinies. It's a privilege I've come to cherish deeply, especially in light of the stark reality that in many parts of the world, this freedom is but a distant dream.

Reflecting on this privilege, I couldn't help but feel a sense of responsibility to honour it—to cherish it, to protect it, to never take it for granted. It's a reminder of the vast disparities that exist in our world and the importance of using our freedoms wisely and compassionately.

But beyond just recognising our own freedom, I found myself drawn to celebrating the choices of others—the myriad ways in which people navigate their lives, make decisions, and take action. Our differences, far from being a source of division, are a cause for celebration—a testament to the richness and diversity of the human experience.

In embracing this diversity, we not only honour the inherent worth and dignity of each individual but also pave the way for a more inclusive and compassionate society. By valuing and respecting the choices of others, we foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and mutual respect—one where every voice is heard and every perspective is valued.

Afterwards, I carried with me a renewed appreciation for the power of words to spark meaningful dialogue and the importance of coming together to explore life's questions. Above all, I was reminded of the beauty that lies in our freedom to choose—to choose how we live, how we love, and how we navigate this intricate tapestry of existence.

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