You always have choices, even when you’re orange

“A podium and a prison is each a place, one high and the other low, but in either place your freedom of choice can be maintained if you so wish.”

—Epictetus, Discourses

Throughout my life, my greatest pleasure has been learning. The exploration of what is not yet known is what keeps me here, and keeps me willing to greet the day no matter how it starts or what it may bring. On this day, while I am writing these words, there are some people of whom I am aware who are in prison and who do not deserve to be. Also on this day, while I am writing these words, there are some people who have great power that do not deserve that power. I am primarily talking about the orange man also called Donald Trump, who is not motivated by a love of learning. That is not a crime. As far as I can tell, though, the orange man is motivated by a love of himself. I do consider that a crime. As far I can see Donald Trump’s self-love comes always at the expense of those over whom he has power.

There are many things happening in the world around me today that are cause for concern. The anti-immigration sentiments motivated by ignorance and fear, for instance. I have no choice how anyone else feels about these things, just as I have no influence over how the orange man is going to use his soon to be officially bestowed powers of governance. I choose not to fear what will happen. I don’t like that Great Britain is working to exit the European union, but it is also not my responsibility.

I have a podium. I am not in prison. That situation may reverse itself tomorrow, but I will still be in charge of my mind. I will still be in a position to greet the unknown with the attitude that I am in charge of my own becoming.

In this short lifetime of mine, I have learned that fear cripples potential and destroys those who allow it to control their decision making. I choose to face my fears and understand that the most important things I am afraid of are internal. External forces are real. They can negatively or positively impact my existence. Or yours. Or all of ours.

That is no reason to lash out. Only bullies let fear dictate their tone.

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure. It’s not your fault.” This is orange man at his worst, and he’s right. It is not my fault that he is a narcissist. Rather than choose to feel hopeless about the upcoming presidential reign of the smartest orange man on the planet, I am going to look for opportunities to show his followers and believers that fear and ignorance never lead to growth. Fighting for growth is not a sin. I’m looking forward to helping like minded friends tear down all the walls orange man has promised to build.

The future of the world is not destined to be a bunch of walls separating us from one another. The future of the world isn’t destined to be fear and ignorance separating us from one another. Those are the old ways, and thank the gods, they are dying.

Whether you are high or low, I hope you understand that your freedom of choice cannot be taken from you. You can choose fear and ignorance, but I hope you won’t.

As to you, the incoming orange man, I wish you growth when it comes to wisdom, as I believe there is almost unlimited potential hidden within the walls of bone that make up your skull.


Sources :

The Daily Stoic: https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Stoic-Meditations-Wisdom-Perseverance/
25 of the dumbest things Trump has said: http://www.knowable.com/a/25-of-the-dumbest-things-donald-trump-has-ever-said-depicvers/

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The author

Pen has been writing in a professional capacity for two decades. He started his career as a combat correspondent in the U.S. Marines.

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