The Paths that We Take in Life
How We Choose Our Paths in Life
Every human being that is capable of making decisions in life, does so. There is a great cause and effect in those decisions, even if we don't agree with that fact or idea. I have seen a few articles recently about free will, and whether or not we really choose things in life at all. I suppose we each have to make up our own minds in life, ultimately. I am going to share some ways that some people choose the paths they take in life. It may be very different for you. The ideas expressed here are based on my experience and observations over time and through what I have studied in my life.
Our Family ,Culture and Environment
Each of us are born into a family and in a certain place and time by no choice of our own. This fact is profound for each of us. We could have been born into some other family with very different ideas about life, in some other time and on another continent. Yet here we are.
I believe that our ideas and beliefs are formed to some degree, by the people and events in which we are raised. If it happens that a child is raised in a horrible environment, it need not dictate disaster for them. As we have seen, so many rise above their hardships in life. It can be done.
Some criticize the sheer idea that parents would pass on values and morals and teachings onto their children. One idea in defense of that is that it may be a very good set of values! Of course it is a great set of ideas, as our parents or family or friends hold to it themselves. It is very rare, if it occurs at all, that a parent teaches their own child an opposite set of views to which they hold. So if any are guilty, then all are guilty of passing on information, be it good or bad. This leads me to my next point.
Why Do We Believe the Way We Do?
We could come to a conclusion in life, that our parents views turn out to be something we don't really agree with. I would encourage everyone, and do this for my own children even, that they find out why they believe what they believe. To critique our own beliefs and ideas of how the world works, most of all. This is a wise thing to do, and I would encourage it while being the most intellectually honest as it can possibly be done. In other words, not just trying to make our world fit into our chosen or preferred philosophy or belief system.
How We Learn - For Better or Worse
We all grow up, and listen or rebel against the advice given to us by teachers, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. Many people just are more rebellious against authority, and no matter how hard others may push to help them avoid the pitfalls in life, they seem to insist on finding out the hard way. I think its much wiser to learn from the mistakes of others, and to always be observant of the world around us. This is just my opinion, but it can save a lot of heartache and money and trouble!
As we get older, we are exposed to so much. Often, as we enter the years after high school, we think we know so much. Whether or not we go to college, many think "they have arrived." It isn't until much later, some begin to respect, or again respect their elders as having lived longer and knowing a thing or two about life. I bring this stage up in part, because we are actually very impressionable during those college years. If a student ends up in a university, they still have to be careful with what they are learning there. After all, aren't these the experts in their fields, often with doctorates, etc? What I have found is that it is good to encourage all people to still think for themselves, and think hard, despite what they are hearing.
Even very brilliant people can make critical mistakes in their thinking. They can be very assertive in their ideas and therefore seem very convincing. I have seen very smart people, make assertions that turn out to just be their opinions or ideas after further looking into them. So even very impressive, seemingly convincing assertions can be just that, assertions. I think its a very kind and wise idea for instance, to teach our kids and remind ourselves to not give into any "herd" mentality. It is not always best to go with the group, even if you aren't sure it won't leave you feeling alone. Sometimes, we are amazed at what happens at times like that, and it turns out others were wondering about the very same things!
Beliefs and Philosophies do Matter
If you haven't been able to realize it by now, I guess I am suggesting that our beliefs and philosophies very much do shape our lives in the sense that our choices grow out of those things. Philosophy is a fascinating subject, but it isn't just a far off lofty subject that some like to study. Every part of our lives are full of choices that are being lived out, by a deeper philosophy we hold. These can change of course too, as we see. I am just saying that the best life may be lived out by choosing a good philosophy, or at least by caring about the way we think about things. Haven't we all seen tragedies occur in life, in the news or closer to home, happening to people that had a cause and effect set of circumstances playing out because of their choices?
Our paths are our own to choose. I hope we all choose wisely, and avoid the temptation to be only self serving, even though that is a tendency many fall into. I have this crazy idea that the best possible world and philosophies turn out for the betterment of all people, not just some. Giving of ourselves in some way to our world we live in is also satisfying, not just a good thing.
It is never to late to start making good decisions. It is never too late to start making better decisions than we have in the past. We can have impact on good in our world. I am thankful for my life, and the chance to make decisions that affect my paths in life. Much of that is due to people that sacrificed much, long ago, and to them I am so grateful.
I Am Thankful
I am thankful to the forefathers of the United States. While I know that many that might read this are not theists, I am also thankful to God, and my Family who I personally believe have made a big part of that possible. To the Veterans that fought so hard for freedoms, thank you. To the many great thinkers of this great country, the United States, that fought so hard and thought less of themselves than others, thank you.