Chains around my wrist and neck
Chains between my ankles
They ask for me to show respect
And they will show they’re thankful
“Just tell us some of what you’ve heard
We don’t even need it all.”
The whip slides on the uneven dirt
And lifts up from its crawl
The lash comes down across my chest
Stinging loud amid my silence
Pleas come from my pulsing flesh
To end the stream of violence
My bones may break in pieces
But my soul remains intact
My choice may leave me grievous
But control it slips their grasp
They grab my hair and beg me, “Please
Don’t make me keep this pace.”
I laugh under a weakened wheeze
And spit blood in their face
You always have a choice. Always.
In the best of situations, your confidence and freedom to follow your heart has no obstacles. In the worst of situations, you feel trapped in obedience and unable to break free of your physical circumstances. You may even feel crippled with your own trepidation of taking the first step.
When faced with daunting circumstances, there is a tendency to wait for a random window of opportunity to surface. Doing everything within your power to make the most of it when it comes along is certainly wise, but don’t allow it to be the only shepherd of your happiness. Only that which is in your control can be relied upon. Anyone successful will have seized their lucky break, but the lack of such a break will not cause them to feel trapped. Helplessness is not a mountain of factors against you or an absence of factors aiding you, it is a capitulation and false concession that you cannot help yourself.
Even if your immediate personal situation is acceptable, the machinations around you may feel out of your control. The powerful apparatus you cannot take apart, the historical establishment you cannot penetrate, the inner workings of the cabal you cannot witness. The worst response to such a situation is inactivity, going with the flow because there is nothing else that can be done. Understand that change starts by simply making a choice. How you choose to live your life in the shadows of dire circumstances speaks greater volumes than even the most persuasive of voices. Instead of hoping that someone comes along to reform a process, cease to support anyone who goes along with it. Instead of waiting for the status quo to come around to your way of thinking, reject its effect on your life. Know that you are never alone in these choices. You may not have met them, you may never meet them, but such choices will inevitably resonate with someone else, and they will follow suit. It is through the cascading effect of choices, not talk, that culture is forced to bend to the will of the majority.
The power of choice is monumental. It can describe the insignificant things that matter to you. It can describe whether you are willing to die for what you believe in. It is a power that can absolutely, unequivocally, under no circumstance be ever taken from you. This life is a temporary one, and what you do with the time you have will either cause you to look back with regret or satisfaction. Letting your choices succumb to a feeling of helplessness will ultimately leave you with regret. Whatever choice you make will certainly have consequences and repercussions, but the choice is always yours.
- Do you feel beholden to your current circumstances, however problematic, because of the financial stability it provides? What are you doing with the spare moments, however sparse, you have to yourself? Are you thinking about what it would be like step away, or are you slowly taking steps, however small, to get it done?
- When you are forced into a less than ideal situation, do you spend time pining about where you wish you were? Have you given your current situation its full due? If you have, what can turn your dreaming into action?