The Power of Choice

Carren - 1500, Philippines
Entered on September 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

CHOICE is something much hyped and underappreciated in today’s world. Today, there are ever-increasing “choices” we have to make—the clothes we wear, the food that we eat, or what time we wake up in the morning. Then there are also the choices, which are monumental in nature – the friends we keep, the partner we live with, or the work that we do. Each slightly adjusts our course, little by little and inch by inch, hopefully toward our ideal life.

Despite common understanding, the power of a choice does not lie in whether it is correct or not, but rather in how each of us is called to enforce our full being into that decision. Each “yes” “no” and even “maybe” is a part of how we express ourselves in the world made up of a myriad of connections.

“Yes, I will clean my room” enforces the part of myself that yearns for order and logic in a chaotic world.

“No, I will not speak up” speaks of your choice to stay behind the scenes in a conflict.

“Yes, I will radically change my hair” expresses the need for change, even one starting with just appearance.

The world is obsessed with the correct answer as if everything in the world with a question has a singular corresponding answer. It is ingrained in us even in the beginning of our lives.

Looking back on our school days, we were asked, “What is 2 + 2?” Or course, the answer would be 4. Each question conveniently fits with one answer. That is how we grew up. In a world, where there is a partner answer to life’s every question.

In my short twenty-five years of life, however I have slowly and painfully come to realize that there really is no wrong answer to life’s bigger questions.

There is just my answer. And, when I am able to make a choice, I am able to exercise my being present in the world. Because, when our choice is handed over to another authority figure (our mother, our boss, our friend), then we are giving a little of our powerful self to another.

Yes, it is easier sometimes to let another person who “knows better” make the decision. It removes us from responsibility and accountability for the outcome. But, it also, little by little, deprives us of the power within ourselves.

The power of choice is not in its accuracy, but in its power to make our being present in the world felt.

Choice creates.

That is one power we should never give up, no matter how difficult.