Engagement in the independent performance of behaviors? doing it yourself? to exert control which effects an outcome? making choices?
The Oxford English Dictionary (Simpson & Weiner, 1989), identified the earliest use of the term self-determination found in 1683 which defined it as
"The determination of one’s mind or will, by itself toward an object." As it is focused on "person."
The power to act on our will, whatever it may be without any external compulsion or restraint"
"The best way to predict your future is to create it."
Self-determination is not a simple notion, phrase, or an action taken of every flaccid thought. Self-determination is not singularly a human condition, but rather, I think, a symptom of the complexities of self-awareness, born of the animal instinct. As humans we consider outside forces as adversarial pressures which barricade a path to a predefined goal, of which, we may wrongly believe has been summoned of our own volition, without influence.
But can that be true?
Awareness of our surroundings and social conditioning having giving rise to family groups, societal contracts, laws and the such. These are constructs of human kind, designed to apply agreed upon behavioral pressure. What we have named self-determination, could simply be the product of our evolution whose path trail behind us, like a colorful strand of choice having been affected by environment and a cacophony of deafening interactions. Perhaps, even the development of modern educational institutions themselves, fly in the face of self-determination. And so, one must ask one’s self. Can a thought be truly my own? ...more