I have just finished painting the first coat on the walls of my newly renovated bathroom. I can be pretty indecisive at times and I am trying to work on that, so it was no surprise that right after I bought the paint colour that Dean and I had agreed on, I had second thoughts and almost went right back to the store and bought another colour just as a back-up. I have been living with my indecisiveness for many years and know it as part of the fear and paranoia I am trying to rid my life of, so I ignored the familiar urge to re-think the decision and instead, went home and spread the paint on the walls and am happy to report that it looks good and I have no regrets. A friend of mine says that making no decision is worse than making a bad decision - with a bad decision you can always learn from your mistake and in most cases, right things in some way, but in the case of indecision, you are paralyzed. Being faced with choices is something we all have to deal with and the better we get at making good choices in a timely manner and sticking with them, the better off we will be (I am preaching to myself here).
I have been discussing determinism and free will with someone this week and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I have made some good progress in the choice department. I will not let anyone tell me that my actions are caused by social influences and circumstances and that like a billiard table - once the play is set in motion, there is little we can do about it. I can’t even fathom why someone would WANT to believe that, for it removes the adventure of living - like participating in a game where the outcome is already set. What’s the point? I suppose there is some sort of fatalistic comfort in assuming that you are not totally responsible for your life, but I want none of that. I own every choice I make, good or bad. I have opportunities and setbacks thrust upon me and depending on how I choose to respond, both can be equally valuable in my becoming the person I want to be. I enjoy the roller coaster ride and would not trade some of my worst mistakes for anything mundane because in those low places I have often learned the most precious lessons.
The people I admire the most are those who have not let their circumstances dictate their state of mind or status in life - they have broken limitations and expectations; they have set their eyes on something larger than themselves; and they have never stopped trying and learning and living. Most of them have also made many mistakes along the road for they are never afraid to try something that seems like a good idea.
I guess what I am trying to say is that my deterministic friend will probably give up before he does his best work or stop short of love that conquers all obstacles for he does not have a basic trust that God is at work with a purpose higher than the one he can see. One must have hope, one must have faith, one must have love. That will make all the difference in my choices.
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas A. Edison