Choices in Life

Choices in Life

In a free society, a person has many choices as to how to live one’s life. Some choices like the clothes to wear, the dinner to eat, the vacation to take, etc., have minimum impact as to how one’s life will change. Some choices like the school to attend, the friends to have, the person to marry, etc., will likely change one’s life for the better or worst. At a young age, a person’s choices are normally made by those close to the person. As the person grows older and gains more experience and knowledge, one will likely make all the choices oneself. In the twilight, some people will have times to reflect on all the choices they made and wonder how different their life will turn out.

No Choice

A person has no choice as to where, when, and in what shape and conditions to be born. From then on, for 12 years, the person’s life is at the mercy of the protectors who are normally the parents. All choices are made for the person supposedly in the best interest to allow the person to grow physically, to mature mentally, and to gain the knowledge about the world around. Without the capability to make any meaningful choices, if the person’s mental and physical potentials are not properly nurtured, the person’s adult life will no doubt be adversely affected. For example:

1) A person born into a family of poverty will likely spend less time in studying to cultivate an academic mind,

2) A person born into a family of affluence will likely indulge in materialist pursuits and the gratification of the untamed physical urges,

3) A person born into a loving and caring family will likely have a better chance of making the right choices later in life, etc.

Choices of the Urge

For the next 6 years, as the person grows bigger and requires less supervision, one will spend more times on one’s own at home and in society. A person starts to encounter situations where one has to make choices as to how to live one’s life. However, the choices are more likely to be dictated by physical urges as part of the growing up process - urges to socialize, to seek companionship of the opposite sex, to repel against authority, and to disregard supervision. In addition, the choices are further conditioned by the person’s personality. For example:

1) An introvert having difficulty to express oneself, will likely take a more passive position when making one’s choice,

2) An extrovert will use one’s charisma and communication skill to gain an upper hand when making one’s choices, etc.

Most of the person’s long and lasting friendship is also made during these relatively innocent and idealistic times. Even though choices are aplenty, due to one’s mental and physical attributes as well as financial background, someone whom one can share the inner most feelings in times of puberty and wonderings are difficult to encounter like the needle in the haystack.

Learned Choices

After 18 years of protection, pampering, and learning how to survive in a man-made world, a person is ready to make some real choices whether one likes it or not. Most people will choose to attend at least 2 years of college depending on the financial situation. College education will not only benefit one’s mental development and knowledge awareness but also provide more employment choices.

In college, a person faces many choices as to which specialized field of knowledge to learn and study – Architecture, Biology, literature, mathematics, sociology, etc. But, more often, it turns out that it is the subject matter that chooses the person. It is no mystery that each person possesses unique mental and physical capabilities. The college merely offers a stress free environment where a person can find one’s true calling in life.

Conditioned Choices

With or without a college education, a person’s main concern in the man-made world is to make a living of independent life. First, a person needs to find a good paying job. Even though there are many choices, the employment opportunities are limited by many factors; current economic conditions, experience, educational background, etc. Only a rare few will find and work for their ideal job. Most of the people will have to settle for a job that offers only financial incentive.

The other major event in a person’s life is to find a mate to build a happy and lasting family. Even though there are a lot of choices, it is no easy task to find that ideal soul mate. The choices are conditioned by physical attraction, common interests, temperamental compatibility, etc. It is no wonder that marriage that is founded on Love at First Sight will normally breakdown after 7 years. Since a divorce is too costly and sometimes involved children, most people have learned to live with the irreconcilable differences or the virtue to tolerate, appreciate, and embrace the incompatibility.

Limited Choices

When a person is young and still innocent, one is full of dreams and ideals believing that one can choose to be anyone and accomplish anything. As the person grows older and understands more about oneself and the world, one finds that there are limitless opportunities while one’s capabilities and choices are limited. Fro example:

1) To be a writer, one needs a fertile imagination and language skills,

2) To be a physicist, one needs to have an analytical mind and be able to visualize the world in numbers and equations,

3) To be a professional athletic, one needs to possess a body endowed with special gifts and minimum design flaws,

4) To be a pianist, one needs to have not only the affinity to music but also the opportunity to be close to a piano at a young age,

5) A person with good financial backing can choose to attend top ranked school while the less fortunate may have to settle with the community college, etc.

Choice of Destiny

As each person embarks on the journey of life, one finds that the path is filled with unforeseeable twists and treacherous turns. There are good and fun moments as well as bad and sad times. It is never easy when one has to make choices as one faces and tries to navigate through common as well as uncommon situations or problems. It can only be that the choices are there not to change one’s life but to act as one’s guide through its maze. It is the kind of life influenced by one’s mental and physical capabilities as well as the environment that determines the choices a person make. There are no right choices or wrong choices, but only choices that make sense to the person at the moment.

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