Last week I visited a new client.

They live in a large house with acres of land.

Zoomla tells me they paid £495,000 for the property.

We sat outside in the sun sipping one of the many Pukka herbal teas.

The discussion roamed, and we eventually discussed how personal choices impact lives.

I mentioned that I am exactly where I am today because of the choices I have made throughout my life.

It’s an empowering thing to do.

To own the outcome of your life on the choices you have made.

However, I mentioned that I come from a privileged background.

Materially, as a child growing up I did not want for anything really.

Emotionally, my childhood was a desert, devoid of affection.

Even though I use the ‘my choices created my life’ mindset as a tool of personal empowerment, I told my client that it would be very different if I had been born into a poor family.

One that lived in debt because the household income barely covered the cost of living.

As with any worldview I choose to play with, I am very clear that context is important.

It’s not compassionate to project my own worldview and way of navigating life, with all my beliefs and assumptions, onto others.

Demanding they live by my life perspective.

That feels authoritarian, controlling, fascist.

I try, not very well in some circumstances, to leave people alone.

Let others make their own decisions about how they can live their life.

Support them when they struggle.

Help them when they want to achieve something.

That’s as much as I can do without falling into the role of a saviour, a do-gooder.

My client said that being poor and broke was not an excuse to not accept responsibility for one’s choices.

I agreed to a point.

But poverty is a prison cell for many.

Some people don’t have the skills, resources, or insight into how to break out of their materially limiting situation.

I have always believed and almost encouraged people who are born in financial dire straits, to thieve, if that is the only way they can get themselves out of their physical situation.

Many will decry this.

It goes against the moral principle of ‘by hard work will you be free’.

Which any slave knows, deep down, is bollocks.

Yet it is easy to decry my ‘thieve when broke’ principle, while sitting in comfort and talking from a position of privilege and your own personal situation.

I’m not saying there won’t be dire consequences for thieving when broke.

I just don’t personally take the moral high ground when I hear of someone doing it.

And I thank life I never found myself in a situation where thieving appeared as the only choice to survive.

I simply understand it, when the theft is done to alleviate the suffering at home and not done to feed something like a drug habit.

Two very different things.

Two very different contexts.

As with most of my personal philosophy.

Context is all.

The context of an act is my moral compass as to whether I offer justice, vengeance, or forgiveness.