by Jake Block
We live in a world of choices. Choices in food, choices in fashion, choices in entertainment… a myriad of choices that are limited only by your imagination or economic status. Whatever choices we make are our own, and while time and circumstance might influence those choices, we ultimately must take responsibility for the choices we make, and in doing so, find a way to make the best of our choices made.
When we’re young, we tend to choose the bright and flashy choices on the shelf, the ones that promise excitement and sensual pleasures. We’re young and have our lives yet to live, and consciously or not, we have the feeling that we’ll always have time on our sides to live with and eventually outgrow the choices we make that our parents might warn us about. “What do they know,” we think, “they’re old. They just don’t understand.” We seldom have the second thought that, “Yeah… they are old… and maybe they DO understand,” because inevitably, we too will be old and hopefully, through experience and reflection, gain understanding that youth is hesitant to accept. As we get older, many of those formerly bright and flashy choices we were given tend to lose their luster as short term enticements, and longer lasting choices consistent with positive personal and even family values tend to become more important to the “more mature” us.
The main differences in the choices we make as adults, versus the choices we make as minors is that they very often carry legal and costly penalties if we make the wrong choice, and those penalties can haunt us through our productive years, affecting our ability to find suitable employment, get and maintain credit, find any upward mobility economically, and sometimes, deprive us of our freedom for a significant amount of time. Nobody ever said that growing up was easy, but if they didn’t tell you that there would be hell to pay if you DIDN’T, then they did you a severe disservice.
Still, we see those amongst us who never quite get it, and given a set of choices, they will always manage to choose the one that is the worst for them in any given scenario. Even when they know the risk, they still take them and for some reason think that they will be the one to beat the odds that are stacked to the heavens against them. When they fall, they’re incredulous. “How could this happen to me,” they ask, never realizing, that they all but lit the fuse to their own implosion.
Take a moment to think when you come upon choices that can either help you or hurt you, and have the courage to choose what might not always be the easiest thing, because the right thing seldom is.