Why Do Our Choices Matter?

Hindsight always reveals the right choice. The one I should have made. The option I should have chosen. Why can’t I have a peek at hindsight in the here and now so I can make the best choice and best decision, today? That’s possible if I learned anything from my past.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. He held a clear-eyed and worldly view about human conduct in the 16th century. Perhaps he was scolding his fellow peers for spending half their day in bed with women when he wrote:

Everybody complains about their memory, and nobody complains about their judgment.

Five centuries later, I think his snide comment still has merit. Why do our choices matter? Many people speak about their lapse of recall saying, “Gee, I can’t remember anything these days; my memory is awful.” But we don’t make comments about our choices. We don’t say, “Gee, I can’t make correct decisions anymore, my judgment is awful.”

I wish I realized my decision-making ability had needed an overhaul before half my life was over. My earlier years might have been more pleasant and less turbulent.

But, unlike chatter about better golf grips, better gas prices, or better political races, the topic of better decision-making or why our judgment matters, is hardly the choice of conversation at a dinner party. If it were, perhaps there would be less regret and less hurt in our lives. Maybe we would have learned something beneficial for a lifetime from one another.

I like the idea of taking a moment with my family each night to reflect on the decisions and choices made throughout the day. It’s a good mental exercise to look at which decisions showed the use of better judgment and the opportunities that didn’t?

J.K. Rowling says: It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

I think she’s on to something! It’s at least worth a try. So I’m going to take a look at my decision-making process with honesty.

Want to join me?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.


4 comments on “Why Do Our Choices Matter?

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  2. This is good.

    Question: What if we decided to just accept what is and not to decide beyond that? What kind of life would unfold if we were to practice that on a regular basis?

      • Thank you. Yes, it seems that a person goes through a day adopting and holding on to a perspective of being “mostly” accepting or not. Thus, his or her experience gets filtered through that perspective and that has an impact on how their day goes for them, in general. In other words, if I make it a point to be non-judgmental throughout my day (a tough habit for some), then even those people and events that I don’t view as wonderful don’t have the negative impact on me that they would if my habitual train of thought was one of “looking for what’s wrong.”

        You provide good “food for thought,” Doctor Sandy!

        • Facing life with a non-judgmental viewpoint is a worthy goal. Comparison’s are something we learn early in life, but when we make comparison’s of each other we’re judging, and that never ends well. We are no better or worse than someone else. Thankfully, we have the freedom to live our lives as we choose, so of course other people do, too. When we accept and embrace other people as they are, we refuse to be a part of prejudice.

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