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Making decisions is simple, yet these abstract thoughts are responsible for all aspects of everyday life. This process gives humans the ability to create a unique life path. Since choices are not made in a vacuum, it is important that people understand the consequences carried by their decisions. Therefore, all humans, whether they be virtuous or vile, need to have the freedom to make their own choices, if only to witness the impact their decisions have on others.
The freedom to make individual judgments allows people to not only survive but thrive. As result of this, societies wherein the population is oppressed or forced into conformity will eventually wither and die. In these communities, citizens are deeply affected by the poor choices of the few. This is only worsened by the restriction of any ability to better the circumstances. However, in free societies, the positive choices of the many, or even the major, but moral choices of the few, take precedence. By encouraging free choice, communities will experience positive development and improve the lives of everyone involved. Humans tend to want to make favorable decisions. Although these choices may not be rooted in selflessness, they will more often than not have a beneficial impact. Allowing people to make their own choices enables the progressive growth of societies and the human race as a whole.
The ability to make individual choices is imperative to the growth of societies, but it is just as important that people have the opportunity to make those choices in the first place. Without this freedom, the advancement of societies would be impossible. No one would be capable of bettering their own life, and they definitely would not be capable of bettering the lives of others. Therefore, giving people the opportunity to make their own decisions gives them the opportunity to improve their society.
If a society wishes to grow, it must eliminate obstacles that restrict its citizens from making their own choices. Hindrances such as poverty and lack of free speech prevent people from traveling their true life path. These blockades diminish an individual’s ability to live freely and make valuable contributions to their community. It is impossible to remove all impediments from everyone’s life. However, societies and governments can provide programs to help disadvantaged individuals and alleviate some of those problems.For Wes Moore, one of these government-run programs seemed like the only way to turn his life around. He was sick of selling drugs and watching the lives of those around him fall victim to substance abuse. So, when his friend Levy mentioned joining Job Corps, Wes agreed. Job Corps was a government initiative aimed at giving disadvantaged youth the chance to learn the skills needed to hold steady jobs and contribute to their community. It was an opportunity for Wes to escape from the drug-riddled streets of Baltimore and become a skilled laborer. He could finally make money without the looming threat of incarceration or death. During the several months he spent at the Job Corps Center, Wes “… learned skills, gained confidence, and finally felt his life could go in a different direction” (Moore 142-143). Programs like Job Corps minimize obstacles that prevent people from living life as they wish to live it. It gave Wes the ability to choose how he was employed. He was no longer confined to selling drugs on the streets because Job Corps gave him the capability to work as a carpenter. Although he eventually returned to the drug game, Job Corps widened Wes’s horizons and allowed him to choose how he wanted to live.
Whether it is obvious or not, every decision made is accompanied by a consequence. Even trivial choices can influence future opinions and opportunities. Since these judgments have such a widespread impact, it is crucial that people witness the consequences carried by their choices. Being aware of the repercussions of a decision fosters the development of empathy and understanding. It makes people think about the emotions of others. Other people do not stop existing once they are out of view, and a choice made on one side of the globe can deeply affect someone on the other side. Witnessing the consequences of a decision makes people aware of the feelings of those around them.
When Ponyboy arrived at the hospital, he was nervous to see his brothers. He and his friend Johnny had saved several children from a burning church and were rushed to the hospital for their injuries. Before this, Ponyboy had run away after a fight with his older brother, Darry. He had firmly decided that Darry did not like him; Darry was constantly yelling at him after all. However, when Ponyboy saw Darry at the hospital this belief changed. After a moment, Ponyboy “…realized, horrified, that Darry was crying” (Hinton 134). He finally understood that Darry cared about him and that his choices affected his brothers as much as they affected him. Ponyboy could now empathize with his brothers, especially with Darry, because he learned from this mistake after witnessing the consequence of his choice to run away.
Most people operate in self-interest. Yet, humans are unpredictable creatures and self-interest is not always founded in virtue. The existence of violence, corruption, malice, and other evils proves this. However, all humans, even the malevolent ones, must have the freedom to make their own decisions. It would be impossible to monitor the intentions of every single person, and if there was a way to do so, it would be a serious personal privacy breach. No one should ever have that much power over the thoughts of another human or the authority to judge whether someone’s decisions are acceptable or not. People are too biased for a system like that to work. Additionally, if people are not allowed to make unfavorable judgments, they will never understand the benefits of proper decision-making or the adverse effects of poor decision-making. Society would grind to a halt if everyone stopped learning from their mistakes and discovering ways to grow and improve upon previous choices. The restriction any type of decision, honorable or corrupt, would hinder the advancement of the human race. Freedom of speech is a straightforward concept—it allows anyone to say anything they want. However, humans are not always kind and often choose to utter disreputable phrases. Yet, many rude statements are protected by freedom of speech. Free speech allows everyone to choose what they wish to say. Forbidding free speech would be forbidding free choice and free thought. Fortunately, it is impossible to completely restrict what people are allowed to say. If this feat were possible, it would require surveillance in every corner and crevice and a complete disregard for any sort of personal privacy. Additionally, no one would never learn to think or choose for themselves. Society would become stagnant if everyone had the same opinions. Much like freedom of choice, freedom of speech enables both personal and societal growth. Both of these allow humans to lead unique lives and influence the lives of others. They allow the introduction of new ideas which often lead to the expansion of previous ideas. Freedom of speech is borne from freedom of choice, and without either society will falter.
Free choice is imperative to the advancement of the human race. It allows people to construct individual life paths and be involved in the lives of others. The ability to make decisions allows people to learn and build from their mistakes. This gives people the capacity to better their circumstance and the circumstances of others. Therefore, communities must ensure that its citizens are not hindered in their capabilities to choose. Decisions do not only affect the individual making them, so people must realize the impacts their choices have. This understanding promotes empathy and awareness of other people’s emotions. Since decision-making is so essential to the growth of societies, it is important that people are not restricted when doing so. The limitation of free choice would cause the stagnation of society. No one would understand the benefits of positive decisions or the disadvantages of negative decisions. The ability to make individual choices coupled with the capability to witness the consequences of these choices enables the advancement of society. Free choice is the soul of the human race.
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