May 2017

So Many Choices

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Choice: We make choices every day. Some of us can make choices in a second and some like to contemplate them; but some choices are made without us even being aware of it. This morning, we made the choice to get out of bed. We did not realize we made that choice; we just got out of bed, we got cleaned up, we chose to use bath gel, toothpaste…you get the idea. Then, without being aware of choosing, we went to work.

Of course there are consequences to our choices. If we did not get out of bed, get cleaned up and go to work, we wouldn’t have the income to pay our mortgage or rent and, then, we would be living with a relative who did choose to get cleaned up and go to work.

We choose to buy food. We could choose not to, but what are the consequences of that choice? We can choose to buy a doughnut knowing that an apple is so much better for us. Each meal or snack we choose either moves us toward better health or away from it. Thus there are consequences to our choices.

We make thousands of choices every day. We must learn to be aware of them, of the seemingly insignificant ones and the important ones.

Being mean is a choice. Being kind is a choice. Being happy, living with gratitude and understanding are choices. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at a situation, the situation changes.” For example, someone goes to the food pantry to pick-up groceries in a new Cadillac. We might rush to feeling judgmental without knowing this person had to borrow a neighbors’ car because he/she could not afford transportation. That split second when we can either jump to judgment or understanding is what Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, says is where our freedom is (to which I would add “our happiness” as well). He said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” I endeavor to live by these two quotes; sometimes I’m even successful.

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