Today was graduation day and it caused me to reflect on the topic of choice, partly because of something said by the speakers, partly because of the whole movie vibe (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and partly because of all of the decision-making I and many others have had to go through this week. There are two major actors in everything that happens in our lives, choice and your choice of either randomness or divine actions. Of the two, we have control over choice…not outcomes, but choice itself. Choice is at the very heart of games, quests, and many other diversions, because it is our unique combination of choices that drive the story and the result. I believe we are much greater than the sum of our choices, which is why I am very much of the belief that we won’t have to worry about a sentient artificial intelligence wiping out humanity, but I do believe our choices play a very great role in determining who we ultimately become. Basically, choices are important and are in our power to control, so we must learn to choose proactively and to choose wisely.
By proactive, I mean that we should take the initiative to make the choices in our lives rather than wait until the choice becomes moot. Many times I have found myself dithering over a choice for so long that by the time it is made, it doesn’t matter. By choosing wisely, I mean choosing right over expedient, choosing good over evil, choosing patience over haste and choosing faith over doubt. I have found those four principles to be good markers by which to bound a choice. So, with that, here are a few “choice” pieces of advice.
- Choose to get up one more time. You don’t fail when you fall, only when you refuse to rise.
- Choose to be calm in adversity. Panic breeds panic, fear breeds fear, and calm breeds calm.
- Choose to believe the best of people. People may do thoughtless or hurtful things, but generally you get what you expect of people. If you expect them to be good people and believe them to be, they generally turn out to be.
- Choose to think before speaking. Not all things need to be said, not all things needing said need to be said by you, and not all things need to be said immediately.
- Finally, choose to think about, as Philippians 4 says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.”
Now, as to where we go for dinner? Whatever you choose…