We Choose

I recently discovered that May is Mental Health Month, which is cool, although I would like it even better if the other 11 months were mental health months, too. With that in mind, let’s look at the following —

We want to feel good.

The phrase we want to feel good seems too simple and too self-evident to even take a glance at, yet there may be more in these few words than first meets the eye. Rather than dismiss the phrase, I suggest we actually consider it more deeply. To that end, today we begin a four-part series that will explore how we want to feel good, one part of the phrase at a time.

WE .  . want .  . to feel .  . good.

The picture accompanying today’s blog is of one of my shirts. The company I get some of my shirts from includes free monogramming and I decided to place We Choose over the pocket. People frequently ask about the shirt (Do I sell them? No, I don’t.) or about the phrase (What’s that about? or What do we choose?). The shirts have definitely led to good discussions relating to choice theory and internal motivation. When I had the first shirt monogrammed I wrestled with whether I should use I Choose rather than We Choose. I settled on We because I think it is accurate. We are all in this planet earth soup together. We all make choices every day.

It is significant that in this case the concept of We is a principle. It transcends time and place. Whether we live in the mountains of Nepal, the plains of Africa, or in a large city in the United States, we share a desire to feel good. We have in common a motivation to survive, but that is only the beginning; we want to identify our purpose, to be connected to others, to accomplish worthwhile goals, to experience freedom, and darn it, to have some fun in the process.

We is not limited by geography or culture. Different cultures come up with unique ways for people to meet their own needs, but at our human core we are all the same. We strive to have our needs met, to feel connected to others and to achieve success. We is not limited by religious affiliation. Around the globe humans have for millennia come up with ways to connect with deity and express their beliefs. With so many different religions around the world (over 300 in the U.S. alone) it would appear that religion is more about what we want from God than what He wants from us, but whatever the case we share a common urge to act on our religious beliefs.

We is not limited by age. We don’t strive to feel good when we reach a certain age or a certain level of maturity. The process of wanting to feel good begins at birth with every human being. This is why understanding the principles of choice theory is so important for parents and teachers. Acknowledging the needs that children are attempting to satisfy and even helping them to understand their needs and the ways they can fulfill these needs is a huge gift. Creating a needs-satisfying curriculum at school is also hugely significant.

And so, regardless of how old we are, where we live, and what we do, We is us, all of us.