Autonomy. The freedom within humanity to be the person you wish to be, provided such choices do not impinge on the independence of others to do the same. Or to be different.
Autonomy is not a free ride. It does not allow anyone to act with impunity, without consequence, simply because they wish to be free to express themselves as they see fit. They are confined to operate within the confines of the law of the respective country in which they live, or are presently.
Sadly though, laws and thus associated autonomy are calibrated in a multitude of different ways, country by country, even state by state in the same country. That is a reality. Nevertheless, for those of use who are fortunate to live in democratic societies, sustaining and protecting our autonomy is being eroded by allegedly utilitarian imperatives such as national security and for economic efficiencies, also by technological applications implemented in advance of appropriate legal oversight.
Perhaps it is so then that as collective autonomy is being so compromised, individuals strive to find their space to express their autonomy without interference from ‘big brother’ or the ‘nanny state’. For example, going to the beach, and to swim or not, surf or not, sun or shade, paddle or boating, fishing, cricket on the beach.
Humans thrive when they can experience their individual autonomy. From early childhood, increasingly seeking it approaching puberty, demanding it or stealing it as adolescents, and valuing it as empowered and confident adults. Indeed, adults in open societies perform at their very best, when they are intrinsically motivated, and thus free to choose what they may do, in work, sport, leisure, and in relationships.
As a manager, a coach, a partner or a business owner, and in most other adult relationship contexts, if you respect the autonomy of those you relate to, interact with, it is more likely than not, you will foster loyalty, diligence, attention to detail and optimised performance and positive productivity outcomes. Not in terms of collective action necessarily when paradoxically autonomy must be surrendered for the greater good, but in respect to each person, being free to choose their longer-term destiny, to fulfill the best of their humanity.