Are Our Choices Real?

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He sat down, placing two magazines on the coffee table in front of him, adding a ‘BlackBerry’, an ‘iPhone’, and his ‘iPad’. He then turned on his laptop and began surfing the Internet while sipping his coffee. He was moving between his four devices very quickly; then he hastily went through one of the magazines. He seemed unable to finish reading a single article.
Stealing a glimpse of his computer screen, I discovered that he had opened a countless number of news websites, social networking websites and the YouTube. In one ear, he placed an ear set connected to his computer, while the other was connected to the ‘iPhone’. He looked like a modern version of Frankenstein. After an hour, he turned off everything, sighed due to work exhaustion, picked up his devices and left.
The man seemed confused and hesitant as he was vacillating between the various devices in front of him. It seems that his visit to the café to break out of the work routine has turned into another upsetting situation. He was like so many others, seemingly unable to live without having endless choices in their lives, without recognizing that they are in a deep pragmatic trouble.
Having too many choices in our lives is never healthy, as many of us tend to believe. Too many choices make us lose our harmony with life. They take away our ability to enjoy the beauty of the simple joys in life, and make us yearn for what we do not have; thus, turning our life into desires, and turning us into materialists.
The more choices we have, the more confused we become, and the more distracted our thoughts will be. We sit at home while our minds are still thinking about work, busy planning for a day out, or recalling what the professor said at the lecture today. We live with our bodies in one place, while our minds and souls are preoccupied by another. Our thoughts are scattered, and our time is wasted in the midst of those endless materialistic choices; be they necessary or minor.
The endless choices in our lives deprive us from enjoying our present moments, which are the only reality we have. They obliterate the word “is” from our lexicon and replace it with ‘was’ or ‘will’. Enjoying what we have, no matter how simple or limited it might be, unites us with life and fills our hearts with pure joy. It frees us from the bonds of the past, relieves us from the concerns of the future, and grants us with pleasure, as long as we keep on seizing our moments. These are the only choices we should consider in our lives, as they are the only real ones—the ones that truly matter.
Real choices liberate us from the bonds of fashion slavery, emancipate us from the jewelry captivity, and set our captive hearts free from all that glitters, even if gold. Real choices take us back to the time when we had real values.
Real choices are the ones we make by ourselves, because they reflect our desires and ambitions, while false choices are those made by others on our behalf. The worst kind of freedom deprivation is not a prison confinement, but a lack of freedom of choice.
Our choices make us what we are, and determine the course of our lives. Real choices do not require tools or equipment. They require the ability to make decisions, and a deep understanding of ourselves. They help us understand why we have become what we are and what we can become tomorrow.
In order to make the right choice, you have to re-read and discover yourself. You need to know who you are, the motives that drive you to go to work, and the reasons for being pushed in the realm of laziness.
Most people know which medicines are not suitable for them—the ones they are allergic to, and those that cause them indigestion. However, only few people spend enough time to discover what suits their souls. Very few stop to ponder on circumstances, shapes, colors, words, and gestures— on all that leads them to the right choice. Self-knowledge is in itself a virtue; it shows us the right way of life. Our self-knowledge drives our choices, which in turn affect our abilities, finally leading to our future.
To recognize the real choices in your life, you have to listen carefully; and in order to do so, you have to be more silent. Choices shape everything about us, even our past. When we choose to live in the past, we shape the future, thus making it a replica of the past. To be free to choose means to be prepared to believe in your mind and to listen to the voices inside you—the voices that cannot be suppressed or overlooked, because they speak the truth.
Having too many choices in our lives causes us despair, because we fail to obtain them all, and we are rarely left with the best one. The fear of choice is in itself desperation, a disruption of our capabilities and an elimination of the bright prospects that we may come across one day.
A desperate person would turn off the lamp and then complain about losing his way. In contrast, an optimist would not do so, even if the lamp is about to run out of oil, knowing that the most enlightened experiences come moments before the dying hope.
Having too many choices at a time prevents us from seeing the naked truth, which man can reach by his achievements, not by the make of his clothes. Having too many choices prevents us from planning and being ambitious. When someone takes a real choice, such as deciding to become a renowned dramatist, another person, indulged in the endless materialistic choices of life, comes to him and shouts, like a ghost, in his face, “My car is more important than all of your plays.” The society would applaud him because they, like him, see life through his choices, not through his achievements.
Truth is but one choice. That is why it is difficult to find. It is not stacked on the shelves with other goods, nor is it subject to trade-off. Truth is an existential choice. It is neither bought, nor sold. However, we do not necessarily choose the truth, especially when we live in an uneducated society that does not strive to learn more. In such a society, we only choose the truth if there is an instant need for it.

 

 

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