I’ve always believed that who we are is a culmination of the choices we make, just as where we are in our lives is also. Every choice we make leads us down a path. Sometimes that path takes us where we wanted, planned, and hoped to go, and other times we find ourselves in some totally strange land living a life that we never imagined. None of it is bad, although some choices might be smarter than others, it’s all still good, because we’re not bad.Intrinsically, I believe in people, so just because they make some choices that lead them off on a wild adventure, or into the deepest forest of despair, or into the bad side of town where they hook up with shady characters, I still believe that they are basically good. Poor choices can be overcome by new (and hopefully) smarter choices. Just because someone wanders into the weeds, doesn’t mean they are lost forever.
So, it was with interest that I saw a posting by a well-known columnist that pretty much stated the same philosophy. I was a little surprised, I admit. Mostly because, while I’ve seen other writers hint at this philosophy, I’ve rarely seen someone of his caliber point it out quite so blatantly. Most will couch it in terms of God or Allah, but few actually state outright that we are responsible for our own destiny. That we can (and do) sometimes make poor choices, but those few choices do not define us, but rather it is the culmination of our lifetime of choices that make us who we are.
Click here to see Zig Ziglar’s article, The Choices You Make. Even JK Rowling gave a nod to how it’s our choices that define us and not our abilities nor our attitude. Instead, our abilities and our attitudes affect our choices, but they, in turn, are affected by the culmination of choices that we have made and which now define who we are and how we react to whatever life throws our way.
So, next time you start ragging on yourself because you said or did something you wish you hadn’t, stop. You did it, it happened, but it isn’t who you are. You’re a good person who made a poor choice based on circumstances of the moment. However, that moment is over, and it’s time to move on and make different (better) choices. No choice is so bad that it can’t be overcome. While it might take a lifetime of choices to redress, it can still be done, so never give up on yourself or anyone else. We’re all good people…some of us have just made a few more unfortunate choices than others.