Is it really about our personal choice anymore?
Updated: May 8, 2020
Few months ago in a small social gathering, we were discussing about the climate change and its impact on our lives. It was a regular casual discussion which we talk and forget, until a data enthusiast shook everyone with mind-boggling numbers. The alarming facts and figures he presented were about how certain types of food results in global warming. Someone, who was savoring exactly one of those foods said, “See it’s a matter of personal choice” and while having a good lip-smacking bite continued “I really don’t care as long as it’s tasty”. Most of them laughed and smiled, while there were a few who just cringed at the shameful display of ignorance.
I just wonder today if a similar discussion had happened in Wuhan about wildlife market, and someone must have raised their apprehension on virus possibilities. They would have been shut by the popular narrative of “personal choice”. The angst we feel today is a result of that arrogance. I understand not everyone apprehend the outcome of their day-to-day decisions, but what is absolutely disheartening and shameful is their outright denial to understand the rationales.
Do we accept killing, abuse, theft a personal choice? No! Never. Once our actions start inflicting pain to others, it’s not a personal choice. Fortunately, the law of land provides cover against such acts and people cannot rampantly commit heinous crimes on the pretext of freedom and choice. But alas, there is no such protection against civil and moral misdeeds.
In the name of development, culture, and freedom people will keep behaving as they like, spoil environment they don’t care about, and put entire civilization at risk. But Isn’t it high time we should start holding people morally responsible for their choices?