Asst. Professor, St. Joseph’s Autonomous College, Jakhama
Choice implies the voluntary act of selecting or separating from two or more things which is preferred. Our lives comprises of choices that we make, be it personal lives, careers, family lives or issues concerning our society. We take a plethora of decisions, make choices and bear the consequences. Choices are everyday activity. The choices we make and the decisions we take have a long lasting impact on our life. It may either stunt or increase our growth as individuals and even as a society.
The choices and decisions we make largely depend on our morals and standards. The past is unalterable yet offers us an insight on the mistakes we made. The present is a gift we need to make the best of, and the core of our future comprises each and every decision we have ever taken. We may never rid ourselves from the worries of tomorrow but we can free ourselves from tomorrow’s regrets by making right choices today. We are free to choose whatever we want to do or to be. Our greatest power is the power to choose our own destiny. That freedom of choice is our birth right and no one can steal it or deprive us of it. Choice is a talent that we must develop and use. We must choose for ourselves. Because no two people are exactly alike, no one can make a completely satisfactory choice for someone else. When we allow others to make our choices, we hand over to them our destiny and rob ourselves of our birth right. We then bear the consequences of borrowed choice. The choice determines the consequences. Once we make a choice, the consequences follow the principle of cause and effect. A poor choice leads to undesirable results as surely as a wise choice produces a favourable consequence. To control the outcome of our ventures, we must guard our decisions and choices with meticulous care. Once we accept responsibility for exercising our freedom of choice, we can use it to make whatever changes of habit or attitudes are necessary for developing personal leadership and self-motivation. We should be patient and give our choices time to yield results. Today’s habits are the result of choices made long ago. Tomorrow’s habits will be the result of the choices we make today and the attitudes and habits we adopt.
Each one of us with the choices we make, are responsible for our lives and actions and together we create the society we live in. Our choices as individual affect society at much broader level. For instance, the increasing number of vehicles in our towns, though the decision to purchase one is the choice of individual consumer however, its impact extends far beyond. Global issues of great concern facing us today are the products of human decisions taken without the consideration of future consequences. A familiar example would be climate change and global warming. While we opted for present comforts to make our lives easier, little did we realize that the consequences would be grave and in doing so make our own future doom. With the digital revolution, as the internet became as important as a morsel of bread, smart phones affected greatly our social habits. Our lives are constantly exposed to an overload of information through various means. Advancement in technology is revolutionising our taste, hype and culture and at times information explosion, increasing mobility, decadence family life, over choice etc. may result in declining of individual values and it may lead to situations where we doubt our own choices however if our perspectives and values are right such doubts become ignorable. Sometimes decisions should be made with the best interest of self in mind, but while accepting and understanding that it will play a part in the lives of others too. Other times, decisions should be made while thinking of others’ needs. Though difficult, it is beneficial to consider others’ and think less of oneself. Acknowledging that each choice made will affect another person is a valuable way to live, and not only with the big things, but with small decisions too. Choices matter, people matter and where there is awareness of the influence a choice can have, there are better outcomes.
The definition of right and wrong differs from person to person; it is up to each person individually to have their own morals and standards and make choices based on those morals and standards. Every person needs to be confident enough to make their own choices and knowing the consequences of those choices, be strong enough to live with those consequences, and be happy with the choices made. Whatever we are faced with, we should let our morals and standards guide our choice today for our better self and society tomorrow.