Friday, January 06, 2017

The Problem of Choice

A human lifetime Is marked by a compendium of choices all bearing their unique and particular sets of consequences.  The kind of choices that are made can be trivial or profound and the consequences can range from the benign to inspired or at the other extreme, disastrous.  It is these choices and their consequences, intended or otherwise, that shape the character and substance of a lifetime.

In my thinking, there are essentially two kinds of choices – those that involve decisions made in regards to some aspect of the external environment i.e. the choice of career, deciding on a life’s partner or what kind of car to purchase and those that are made internally purely within the domain of the self.  I would like to focus my attention on internal choices for, I feel, that these are the most important kinds of choices an individual does make over a lifetime.

Life experience and personality have a way of interacting and shaping attitudes and philosophical world view in infinitesimal ways over a wide and expansive gradient of values.  Each of these ways represent particular choices.  For example, an abusive father may well steer his strong-willed son into an adult with mean-spirited attitudes, but not necessarily; for, a particular set of choices have to be made to produce those particular resulting attitudes.  Similarly, even within the most benign and peaceful environments, individuals may react violently against the world that surrounds them.  There are, after all, many interactive and complex variables involved within the domain of the human mind.

As sentient beings, humans always have the capacity to counter the dynamic forces that shape the individual; this ability has been demonstrated many times in the lives of people on their personal journeys.  Every waking hour within the conscious mind, a continuum of choices is being made.  As individuals, we can only hope for the best possible outcomes.

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