Monday, September 23, 2013

Choice: The Center of Being


There's always a choice.

It isn't always easy to see it though because fear has a way of making it appear as if there are no choices. Let me take an extreme example:  if someone told me that I should give her all my money or she'd kill me, I might later say, "I had no choice." Here the choice is between saving money and dying. Because of the way values tend to stack up, I think most people would part with their money rather than die. Nevertheless, by slowing down the process of being mugged, it's apparent that there is in fact a choice involved.

Recently, as I've had to think seriously about what I want my life to be going forward, I often come down to a dichotomy where previously I'd thought I had no real choice. Some of this has gotten extreme. Will I find a job or be homeless, unemployed, and shamed before society? Will I continue to pursue my career as a writer? Will I refuse to look for a job in a particular area because I'm fed up with those kinds of jobs? Will I pursue a life of personal meaning or accept the common declaration that such a pursuit is "selfish"?

This is an important realization for relationships as well. If I follow my life's path, will I find myself generally snubbed by others.