In our home, Friday night is take out night. Usually when my wife asks me what I feel like for take out night, I say ‘I don’t know’. Then she says she doesn’t know either and then we enter this downward spiral of indecision that lasts until we get desperate and choose the first thing that comes to mind which can turn out to be something I didn’t want in the first place.
I have discovered that the reason that we find it hard to decide is that there are so many options available that it just seems impossible to choose one. What if I choose one that I’m not happy with and I’m faced with take out regret? It’s a tough life.
I was travelling in India speaking to an Opportunity International loan client about growing her business over a few years and working her way out of poverty. She had put her two eldest daughters through tertiary education. The youngest was about to complete high school and when she was asked ‘What do you want to do when you finish?’ She said, ‘I don’t know’.
It sounds like a typical teenage response, but the real reason for that answer is profound.
Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. A young women, living in a slum in India, not only being in a position to complete her high school education, but then to be in a place with so many options available to her she had trouble picking just one. She didn’t need to think about finding the highest paying career to support her family, she could choose to do what she wanted. She could dream. Try something new. Create.
That is what empowerment looks like, to have a choice. It’s the catalyst to see people reaching their full, God given potential. It’s the catalyst that creates a better world.