July 17th, 2013 by Jan

It is good to have choice.

And as I write that word, “choice” I’m thinking of putting it up in my funny sounding word list. A list that includes words like, garage and rhinoceros. Words that are just fun to say and hear. Now, before I get off track, I’m heading back to the topic at hand — choice.

Years ago, I taught qigong with Cage Campbell at a juvenile treatment centre in Oregon. We taught young “offenders” that had trouble with drugs, alcohol and their parents. The hope offered at this centre was that these kids would get on a different path before any major trouble hit them.

Cage and I would go to the centre once a week and start our class by putting the kids in a horse stance and having them hold it. Then we would talk. Most of the time we would talk to them about making choices.

The big take away was: If you make a “good” choice when you start your day, then basically you get to make another choice. If on the other hand you make a “bad” choice, someone else will step into your life and start making your choices for you.

The example was evident in the fact that they were in a place that was making all of their choices for them.. They were told when and what to eat, where to sleep and exactly what they would be doing each and every hour of their day. All this because somewhere in their past, they made a choice that got them into trouble. Drinking, drugging, stealing, lying or any other particular decision they made had resulted with them in lock up.

Case in point, they were standing in a horse-stance with two older farts talking to them.

You would think they would be resentful at being made to do this. But at this particular centre, activities like what Cage and I offered were not optional or mandatory. Our class was deemed a privilege to attend, and the kids worked hard to be part of it. It was a reward the kids earned for good behaviour.

When our time was up, the kids in the centre, were then told by someone else what they were going to do next. Cage and I would then usually choose to go get some pancakes. That was mandatory!

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