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  • Dorothy

Think Again- We all need informed choice

Things in life don’t always turn out quite as we expected them to. It’s easy to become disappointed, even shocked when events don’t end up as we were sure they would and when people don’t react or respond as we wish they did.

To find a reliable basis to make decisions, we need accurate and consistent information to see and understand the full picture. Sometimes we need to dip our toe in the water before we can possibly make a decision because as the saying goes “we don’t know what we don’t know”.

Just like finding yourself with several different roads to pick from at the beginning of a journey, arriving at a decision is based on choosing from the information we have available to us. When we know what options there are, we can assess risks and implications involved in choosing what we think is for the best.

It’s easy to get side-tracked or misled about what is a fact, an opinion or simply prejudice. Recent events in politics and the manipulation of social media have given us examples of information that seems to have been deliberately misrepresented, made unreliable, spread intolerance and been engineered to promote one-sided opinions.

Many of the people enabled and supported by ubu have had limited exposure to life experiences in the past. That doesn’t mean that they can’t make informed choices in the future. It means that as enablers, ubu ensures that we create the journey of experiential learning which so many have been deprived of and support them through a maze of information.

ubu guides and teaches each individual we work with to find positive ways to gain balanced and consistent information. By supporting people, step by step, they are empowered to use the knowledge and skills they’ve gained. These can then be their basis for making more audacious decisions about what they want to achieve and achieve the independence they need to take more control of their lives.

The same is true for us all. When we consider recent events, especially in being faced with decisions to make such as those that ‘Brexit’ posed, it’s fair to ask what did we base that choice on? Was it an informed or misinformed choice? In his song ‘The Boxer’ Paul Simon sings “A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.” Sometimes we base our decisions on flimsy evidence and come to regret them.

In a recent BBC programme ”A Point of View: Think Again”, Michael Morpurgo, author of the popular novel ‘The War Horse’, asked his listeners to reflect on the experience of the Brexit vote and question where the information and perceptions they based their decisions on had come.

I believe that we shouldn’t deny opportunities to think again about the choices different paths offer on our journey. Only by ensuring we make fully informed choices based on our own experience can we really expect to achieve independence and freedom and have control over our lives.

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