We all are guided to a great extent in everyday decisions by life's practical demands. This is unavoidable. Yet we must not let what we might call "pragmatism" to end up guiding our life's direction. It is convenient to take the easy way out
of situations, to "go along to get along," to such an extent that others are passively controlling our lives.
Others of us have the drive to get where we want to be, but have no real clue where that is, nor the courage to ask the question.
Many of us have been so completely programmed by family tradition, religious doctrine or community bias that we feel compelled to do as we have been trained, to live a life dictated by those who control our "tribe". From the eldest son who
feels compelled by guilt and duty to take over the family business, to the suicide bomber who has been trained from youth to hate people that she has never met, people everywhere are living lives controlled by the agendas of others.
Only when we accept that we are a tribe of one - a Sovereign Individual - can we begin to respect our own judgment of what is the correct path for ourselves in this life.
A Sovereign does not have complete control over their life. Any armchair philosopher knows that such control is an illusion. However, a Sovereign Individual, like any Sovereign state, simply demands the right to control himself, and expects others to
respect that right. A nation does not control everything that goes on within its borders. It does, however, expect its peers to respect its right to claim such control if it so desires. Any other state that does not respect such a claim is effectively at war with that state.
Any peer of yours who does not respect your right to maintain control over your own affairs is equally at war with you. This can be a difficult concept to acknowledge when that person at war with you claims to act in your interests, and is a close
friend or relative, even one, such as a parent, who only recently in your life claimed such control as a matter of right and responsibility.
This analysis makes clear how difficult it is to be a parent to a teenager. The line between child and adult is a fuzzy one, and varies in chronology from child to child. Yet the demarcation is clear in the sense that we as parents must shift from a
role of control to one of respect for the young adult's right of self control. Ancient cultures had elaborate ceremonies to acknowledge this handover of the right to control. In simpler times it was thought that at the age of thirteen or so, a boy became a man and a girl a woman. Today, the
popular belief seems to be that eighteen or twenty-one is a more realistic age of ascension. In truth, measuring maturity is not as simple as measuring one's age. Yet, it must be done. It is as important for the child to understand and acknowledge their new status as an adult as it is for the
adult and society to acknowledge the same.
It takes a great deal of courage to follow one's natural path in life, regardless of opposition. Some of us are lucky to have people around us who understand that they can best help us by supporting our journey. Others are not so lucky.
Discovering your path involves investigating the options available to you. You should pursue this investigation with the passion it deserves.