by Serge Kahili King
Personal sovereignty is an issue which affects each of us as individuals and as a society, whether we
realize it or not. Understanding it can help us to interpret what is going on within us and around us.
Increasing it can radically transform our existence.
The word "sovereign" means to be in supreme authority over someone or something, and to be extremely
effective and powerful. Therefore, it is usually applied to gods, royalty and governments. We speak of kings
and queens as sovereigns (even when they are figureheads), and of the sovereign rights of nations and
Personal sovereignty, then, would imply the intrinsic authority
and power of an individual to determine his or her own direction
and destiny. If that sounds suspiciously like free will, it's
because personal sovereignty and free will are the same thing.
Just as being a sovereign nation means having the right and power
to make decisions and take actions in the national interest
without being forced to by another nation, so being a sovereign
person means being able to choose oneÌs actions and reactions
without being forced to by another person. To the degree there is
free will in all such choices, national or personal, there is
Although sovereignty also means to be powerful and effective, it
doesn't necessarily follow that once you have it you can do
anything you want. Whether you are a nation or a person, you also
have to consider the sovereignty of others. Of course, you could
try to diminish or destroy the sovereignty of others to get what
you want, the way nations and people sometimes do, but human
experience shows that you can usually accomplish more by
cooperating than by conquering.
Ultimately, however, we each have only as much sovereignty as we
can demonstrate. Having sovereign rights and being sovereign are
not the same thing.
The way to increase your personal sovereignty is to increase your
use of free will. The way to do that is to decide for yourself
what actions to take and reactions to have in any situation, and
to decide for yourself how to interpret your actions and reactions
whether they are freely chosen or not.
For instance, if you work for someone and are ordered to do an
unpleasant task, it can feel like you have lost some of your free
will. But in addition to remembering that you can always quit, you
can also decide for yourself that you are not working for the
boss; you are providing a compensated service, and you can decide
to do the task because you choose to, not because you are ordered
to. The point is, you can always choose your actions and
Beware, though. Personal sovereignty has a high price. It's called
personal responsibility. As you increase your use of free will,
you also increase your responsibility for your own actions and
reactions. Increase it enough and you won't be able to blame your
parents, your enemies, your friends, your lovers or spouse,
society, fate, Satan or God for anything having to do with your
If a lot of people were to greatly increase their personal
responsibility our society would undergo tremendous change.
Co-dependent and manipulative relationships would all but
disappear; untold numbers of trial lawyers would have to find new
professions; politicians would be held accountable for their
decisions; insurance companies would have to change a lot of
policies; people of different faiths would be more tolerant of
each other, humanity would act more from love than fear... Now
what kind of world would that be?
Copyright by Aloha International 2001