Isn’t it amazing that we can actually choose what to think, how to feel and what to do? We make decisions and act on them every day, every hour and minute. Large decisions stand out in our mind but if we observe ourselves even for a while we’ll see the many little choices we make inattentively.
Somehow, nature and evolution have armed us with this ability. It may be essential for survival, although the largest mass of creatures on the planet, plants, seem to flourish without much of it, as far as we can see.
Whenever something happens in the external world, we feel something, then think something and decide to do something, even if it is to do nothing. In many cases, we go directly from feeling to action. These sequences have names in psychology but without getting formal we recognise the patterns. Sometimes, after an event, we feel we could have reacted differently, thought more and done something different.
And the fact is, somehow, in an explicable way, we could have. We could have cheered up with some peppy music. We could have paused to consider other reasons, we could have done the better thing. All we had to do was use the gift bestowed on us, of choice.
Imagine if we couldn’t choose, what a miserable existence it would be. We would be condemned to carry out immutable sequences, trapped, at the same time subject and watcher. Freedom is choice.
What’s past cannot be changed. So the brilliant thing for us is to recognise that we have the precious treasure of choice constantly at our disposal. There are large factors that affect our life, like where, when and to whom we are born.
Yet the crystal clear water drops of daily choices can grow into the aquamarine sea of a life well lived.