July 9, 2014 | Volume 101 / Number 28

The Choices We Make

Like everyone else, I constantly have choices to make. Some choices are easy because the right and wrong are clear. But some are shadowed in doubt. There are choices that can be made in an instant and then there are others that take hours or days or weeks.

Make the right choice and the results are awesome. Make the wrong choice and the consequences have the potential to be major.

The right choice can lead me to a better life and bring joy to more people than I know, but most definitely to the ones I love the most. A wrong choice will bring heartache and sorrow and maybe even a sense of hopelessness for a time to me and others.

A tough situation calls for difficult choices. Sometimes the right choice may seem to others as the wrong choice when, in fact, it is the right one. And what may seem to be the right choice could be the wrong one.

There are choices that are very difficult to make alone. Pros and cons circle endlessly in my mind. That's when I know it is time to talk with a loved one or trusted friend. Someone else may be able to give me a totally different view of the situation. Armed with their ideas and thoughts, I can then add them to my own thoughts and hopefully make the right choice.

At times there are choices I don't want to make but must. Hours and sleepless nights will be spent trying to avoid making a choice, but in the end a choice has to be made and lived with.

It's not only my own choices I agonize over. Friends and family will, at times, ask for help in making a choice. Long talks, maybe even saying a prayer together, is needed to help them make the correct choice.

Then comes along helping your children make the right choices. However, even though you try to guide them throughout their lives about choices, in the end, they must learn to make their own, be it right or wrong.

Once a choice is made, then accountability for the choice comes into play. For it is me and only me who is responsible for the choice I made. Whether it is the right or wrong choice, I am the one who has to answer for what happens as a result of my decision. Should it be the wrong choice, then it is up to me to make amends the best I can and ask for forgiveness?

Not only must I ask for forgiveness from others affected by my choice, I must also forgive myself and work harder the next time to make the right choice.

All choices – right or wrong – can be justified. The question is, does the justification we offer for our choice make a right choice wrong or a wrong choice right? Does my reasoning for my choice help or harm myself and others? And does how I justify my choice make me a better person?

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