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One of the things in addition to hope that is missing in so many people I encounter today is a sense of personal sovereignty. That ability or belief to determine things for ones self. I recently had a discussion about global warming with someone. I pointed out that measurements of ice core samples from the Antarctic seem to contradict the idea and prove instead the cyclical nature of climate over the centuries. Their response was very telling. “Oh look, someone else who thinks they are a scientist”. I find this attitude odd, not because it offended me but because I wonder, why do I have to be a scientist to have my concepts considered valid ? Why is man made global warming considered a certain fact ? I see the same thing in natural remedies. Regardless of how much research or personal study a person does they are not considered reliable unless they are an MD. Even if others have anecdotal stories about the help they receive from natural remedies they are dismissed. So when did the idea of the expert happen ? When did we all become so uncertain of our own ideas and abilities that we are always looking for the “expert” to tell us what to think or what is “right” or God forbid wait for the government to tell us it is OK to do something ? If I spend weeks or months reading about and researching a subject and form an opinion, what makes it less valid than anyone else’s ? I see people do this in their life choices. They are always looking for someone to approve of their decisions and tell them they are making the right choice. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with asking for advice and seeking the opinion of someone older. But in the end you have to make choices for yourself based on your beliefs and needs. It is important to be compassionate and consider others, but not at the expense of your own self fulfilment. I just don’t agree with those that say you have to be miserable and suffering to be holy. And remember, no one can “MAKE” you do anything. No person in history has ever taken possession of another persons nervous system and operated them like a puppet. A great illustration of what it mean comes from a story by Elie Weisel from World War II. A fellow captor in a Nazi concentration camp noticed him smiling and asked him, “Do you not live in the same camp as us. Do you not eat the same rotten food, have no shoes and sleep with no heat in the cold ? Then how is it that you can smile ?” Elie told him, “Because I realized that these guards have total control over my body. They determine when and if I eat and sleep. They determine of I am cold or not. They can even determine of I live or die. But they cannot control my mind. They cannot control how I choose to think or react to my condition. So I CHOOSE to smile, because I can”. So what about you ? Are you happy in your situation ? If not why ? If you believe someone else is making you unhappy,or angry, then choose to think differently. If it is because you truly are unfulfilled, then change something. Take a class, find a different position, start a business for yourself, get a new relationship. You are in control of your life, not the government or some mythical “they”. What you believe and think is just as valid as what others think and believe. You have an inherent right to determine your own life path. Stop looking for some expert to give you answers and find them for yourself. Stop waiting for approval and just do what you planned. This is your life. No one can live it for you and no one will be called to account for the way you have chosen to live but you.