Back some years ago, on 24 February 2006 to be exact, I had My shortest post. In its entirety it read "What is the power of choice?"
I'm certain that said 6-word post would delight many of My Readers for any number of reasons, not the least of which is brevity. And though it is a question that I have answered indirectly many times, it behooves Me to answer it directly.
Some thinker, Robert Heinlein actually, pointed out that so long as one could think, one could pursue happiness. I like that observation because it makes it very clear that happiness is internally-guided and your own responsibility, not some external reward that "Life", "Government," "Society" or "the World" are obligated to give you.
It also makes very clear that it is your choice that sets the process of pursuing happiness in motion, and with little analysis, you can see that in fact, it is your choice that sets every mental/emotional process in motion. Given that, you can see that the power of choice is the ultimate power, the only true power any of Us has and that learning to use it properly is the difference between happiness and strife, success and failure and a progressive society versus what We have now.
"What about instinct?" you ask. What about it? If you ask that to claim that instinct can consistently and regularly overcome your power of choice, then you're saying that a human being is no better than a base animal. True in the case of Fools, but they aren't human anyway. If you ask because instinct has a way of causing thought and emotional processes, then yes, it does, but it is still your power of choice that determines whether you are ruled by them or you rule them.
Follow the train of thought and you will see that your present condition--whatever it is--is the product of your power of choice. (I'm assuming you're an adult. Kids under the age of 16 or UPR students on strike are exempt because they are still in the "Take care of Me" stage of Life.) And by extension, where We are as a society is the sum product of Our power of choice...or refusal to use it, which is still a choice.
In that sense, you are not unique, for the power of choice is the same for everyone; thus in that sense, as a society, We are not unique either. We are where We are--and are not--because We have chosen this situation. And because We chose Our way into this, We can choose Our way out of it.
Some choice cannot be unmade. That's Time's irreversible flow at work. But many choices can be modified, ameliorated and ultimately changed by making more choices, by actively seeking amongst the options We have and can create. We simply have to be aware that Our choices matter, that We choose to ignore matters and that what We choose to focus on will ultimately defines Us, as individuals and as a society.
What is the power of choice? The power to truly Be.
The Jenius Has Spoken.