Let Freedom to Choose…Ring
It’s a beautiful word. It means having options and being able to select an alternative for something that works for you.
Whether you’re male or female, if you live in the United States, you have a choice—where to live, what to eat, and what to do with your life.
Opportunities exist in this country like none other. We can choose our religion, our education, our life partner, our president, and what livelihood we wish to pursue. In many other countries around the world, these choices are made for you.
I have a good friend who is from Turkey and she explained that her children are given rigorous tests in high school to determine what they may study at the university level, as well as if they may even attend a university at all. The test results they receive dictate what they may become as a future wage earner.
Can you imagine the pressure of tests like these? Imagine you didn’t feel well when you took the exams; didn’t get enough sleep; couldn’t have a good breakfast; or you just flat out don’t take tests all that well in general.
What if you dreamt of being a doctor but were told you are to be an economist?
And that it didn’t matter what you wanted to do with your life…because “the results show…”
My friend confided in me that she wanted to become a lawyer, but her test results indicated she would make a good agricultural engineer. She was not afforded the opportunity to see if practicing law was something she’d like or if she could make it in that field.
After finishing college, she left her country to come to the United States where she could try her hand at a profession of her choosing. Not one that was assigned to her.
While this approach and standardized testing may be helpful as it steers some away from a field in which they might not do well, it also infringes on a choice for one’s life. And with that, the excitement about the future may also be affected.
My friend never held a job in the field she received her degree in, and she always wondered what it would be like to be a lawyer. Who knows? She may just find out, as here she has the freedom to choose to get an advanced degree of her choosing. And no age limit to choose it by.
We are very fortunate to have many choices available to us. It’s something else to think about as we celebrate Women’s History Month this March.