Autonomy is the quality or state of being self-governing or the right to self government. To chose ones path off the beaten trail so to speak. Another way of defining autonomy is having independence or freedom, as of the will or one's actions: the autonomy of the individual.
Many people have strayed away from autonomy because they have become too dependent on other people to make decisions for them.
As one Paul Tillich said “Heteronomy (alien rule) is the cultural and spiritual condition when traditional norms and values become rigid, external demands threatening to destroy individual freedom. Autonomy (self-rule) is the inevitable and justified revolt against such oppression, which nevertheless entails the temptation to reject all norms and values.” Tillich was a very influential Protestant Theologian of the twentieth century.
In the United States today, the majority of people have lost the ability to autonomistic, or govern let alone make choices for themselves. But for the small population that is already autonomistic, the government for some reason tries to make them fallow the rules they have set. Such as abiding by the rules of the road, or the government tries to tell them they need leaders to make choices for them because the government knows what is best. But people can’t fallow rules the view arbitrary. We have become to dependent on politicians to run our country and make promises to us stating how they are going to run the country, many of turn out to be untrue. So why do we not govern ourselves? Why do we let others make choices that they view “good” for all of us? Autonomy needs rescuing. It needs to rise again and become a more prevalent value in our communities and societies. Sure it is easy to walk on the path already worn, but one must find their own way or wander away from the mainstream to find who they truly are. It is not just the governance of one, but cooperation is autonomy on a group scale. It is working together, living in harmony with ones neighbors and not worrying about the rest of the world and doing what everyone else does. It is taking ownership of one’s own rules/laws.
We as a society need to become less dependent on others to lead us. We need to rescue autonomy by making choices for ourselves and take the path less walked.