Sunday, 9 October 2011

Life Choices

As I sit on this amazing autumn afternoon gazing at the bluest of blue skies and the tops of trees that are now tipped with blazing colours, I am reminded of the glory of life. It is almost as if I have been introduced to this earth for the first time. New thoughts and wonders enter my mind. I contemplate how we ended up here, we humans and other species. I feel somehow that we are actually one, because although there are slight differences in our everyday procedures, we are not that much different.
We all have choices to make, from the lion in Africa who has to make a choice to which animal of prey she will today pursue in order to feed herself and her cubs, to the mother with her babies who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. Both mothers will make choices and those choices will affect the rest of their lives.

For example, should the mother lion go out onto the plains to pursue her hunt in order to feed her family, she may be prosperous and bring home a delightful meal, or she may be shot by a pursuer of herself. In other words, she will become the prey, the meal, or the offering.

Same is true of the human mother. Her hungry babies will force her to make a decision. It might be to gather them together and take them to someone else that she knows to look after, while she goes off to work for money in order to buy food for all of them. Or it might be that she will leave her children alone and prostitute herself for money. It might be a number of other choices that she makes as well. If she should choose to work for her living while someone she trusts watches over her babies, she might bring home a fine meal that night, tuck them into bed and do the same thing all over again the next day. Or if she chooses to prostitute herself, and we know that is a dangerous choice, she might end up in a dumpster instead, and her babies will be left alone for some other human to look after. The same could be said of the mother lion. If she does not come back to her cubs, perhaps some other mother lion will take them under her wing and bring them up. Both new guardians will teach the cubs/children about life…or maybe not. Maybe they will just grow up and have to learn on their own. But this is just an example of what can happen and does happen with choices.

However, choices are what life is about. Everyday, every hour there are choices for both humans and animals, birds, and every living thing on earth. The choices we make every day, every hour determine the outcome of our lives. Unfortunately we can never go back and play what if. These are life choices made that we have to live with and deal with and make other choices and decisions because of the first ones. Perhaps the mother described above and the lion also had to make that very choice because of previous choices. This would definitely be true of the human mother whose choices in the past had put her in the position she found herself in at the time she had to decide how to feed her children. As for the lion, it is more of an internal instinct, a life force, with no other direction or choices available to her.

So today I see choices…it was my choice today to sit in the beautiful afternoon sun and contemplate the wonders of nature. It was also my choice to let my mind wander toward these feelings and then my next choice to write about it.

Every moment we choose what comes next whether we want to think of it that way or not, and every choice, every decision however small, will affect the next.

Do you remember the children’s books where you read so far into the story then you are given a choice as to what page you want to go to in order to continue. In other words, if you are reading to a child, the child might decide on which choice or direction the story goes. The next time you read, the child might choose another direction. Finally the story will end with perhaps the beginning and the end the same no matter what choices were made in the middle. I wonder if this might be the way with life. Did you ever wonder that no matter what choices you might have made along life’s way, that in the end you would end up the same?

Let’s take Jane’s story. Upon deciding whether to go to a party or not, she has to make a choice. Jane decides to go. At the party she meets a man and begins a relationship with him. As time goes on the relationship goes sour and Jane finds herself living with a monster. This in turn changes Jane’s personality. She begins to believe all the horrible things that he is saying to her. He might even physically abuse her. Jane’s life is not a happy life.

So take Jane back to the night of the party and have her choose not to go. In doing so, she does not meet the man and she moves on with her life, finally meeting another man who is good to her and they have a lovely life together. Perhaps another woman at the party had met this abusive man and if Jane had made the decision to go to the party, then this other woman might never have met the abusive man. But she did and her life became a life of horror just as Jane’s might have.

Now, down the road along the way, do you think that maybe Jane might eventually meet this abusive man once he is through with the other woman, and leave her lovely life and get involved with him anyway, according to the choice she might make to do so? Jane might end up the same miserable person that she would have years earlier, had she made the choice to go to the party.

It is all very fascinating and plays with your mind.That's what writing is all about, playing with your mind. Happy Writing and Reading everyone!

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