Aung San Suu Kyi was the guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today.
She’s an inspirational woman. And one thing she said in particular struck me:
“I’m not terribly fond of melodrama. When people have chosen a certain path, they should walk it with satisfaction and not try to make it appear as a tremendous sacrifice.”
What she said was in the context of choosing to stay under house arrest in Burma, alongside the people she would represent, rather than retreating to the bosom of her family, or even to the side of her husband who was battling cancer.
These are difficult choices. But they speak of principle and service, and a determination to stand up for the greater good of democracy in her country. It fills me with awe that a woman, a wife and mother, put these things above her family, and that they never reproached her for it.
There can be no question that the choices Aung San Suu Kyi made were not done with great clarity of consciousness. And this gives me an idea for some reflective writing of my own about choices, bearing in mind that we still choose by not choosing, that even though we may not consciously engage in a choosing process, we are still choosing by default, whatever our actions turn out to be thereafter.
So let’s use our journals to get conscious about the choices we’re making. Try these inquiries:
“What am I choosing? How satisfied am I with my choice? How likely is it that I can follow this path without melodrama?”
And if you’ve already chosen and are living with your choice, take a moment to reflect on all that is satisfactory about it with this kick-off phrase:
“I am satisfied with…”