The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

I have been wondering a lot about the role "choices" make in our lives. I mean, have we gotten to where we are by a series of deliberate choices or have circumstances dictated our lives? I didn't "choose" to be born and yet I was. I didn't "choose" who my parents were or if I would have brothers and sisters. I didn't "choose" in what order we would be born....I didn't choose to grow up the way I did. I did however choose to survive all of that. I did choose to move on from where my parents left off. I did choose my husband, I chose to have my children. I chose to make decisions based on the information at hand at the times decisions had to be made...

So why do I find myself feeling as if life has run over me and I have no control when the fact is I can choose to take control...?

Views: 11

Comment by spacemonkey1310 on November 1, 2009 at 9:50pm
I sometimes feel that free will is the illusion of control.
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on November 2, 2009 at 2:09am
Maybe because you're overwhelmed by where to begin..?

I love ya, Dee.
Comment by JustDee on November 2, 2009 at 4:03pm
@Dan- I don't agree with that Dan, I think that although somethings are out of our control, there are things that are within our control.. such as the way we treat people and the way we let people treat us. We can choose what is important to us and we can choose what we want out of our lives and we can even choose the best way to get those things that we want. I'm not saying that life doesn't sometimes through obstacles in our way... but you know, with every roadblock, there is an alternative route. The trick is navigating that route and keeping your eye on what it is you want.

@Syd- I'm not overwhelmed at all.. I know exactly where to begin... I love you too.. thanks for caring.
Comment by Jim on November 2, 2009 at 4:52pm
Some say that all the choices we make are predetermined by our past and our present circumstances. Even if that were true, I think it is better to live as if we have free will than to be passive and just let things happen to us.
Comment by spacemonkey1310 on November 2, 2009 at 11:08pm
@ Dee - funny, as I read your reply I felt more and more that free will is the illusion of control. The way we treat others is a choice but that can be limited sometimes to no choice. The way others treat us is completely out of our control. Maybe not our influence but definitely our control.

What's important to us was often there before us or came about by chance such as family and friends. Other things we make important to us again depend on the values you get taught.

Seems more like the result of nurture than a choice directly under our control. And whatever you may want or need you can't always have. Should you choose to exercise free will, take control and abandon everything then you are alone. At that point you go back to what you feel is familiar and you're back where you started.

Out of control.


Saying that, I could be wrong.
Comment by JustDee on November 2, 2009 at 11:38pm
@Dan-I still do not agree with you. As far as the way we treat others.. that is ALWAYS a choice. I was going to give you a long drawn out example of why I know that is true, but I know the fallout from treating someone badly and since then, I have always chosen to treat people with respect and dignity. I have chosen to treat people the way I would like to be treated.
As for how people treat me, I do have control over that. Let's take my husband for example. he has not always treated me the way I would like to be treated and I gave him a choice, either treat me with love and respect or get out. Even my grandmother (on my dads side) had always been kind of mean to me. It really wasn't anything personal, she couldn't help herself, she was just a miserable old woman who was critical of everyone who entered her line of site. I chose not to be around her.
So how we let others treat us is in our control.

I agree that our choices are often shaped by our life experiences and our values, but not always. If it was more a "result of nurture than a choice directly under our control" how do you explain a child of poverty becoming a successful adult? Do you think their parents instilled that desire in them? Or because of their experience, they chose to live their life differently. They chose to succeed in school, college, and in life.

I'm fat. I didn't choose to be fat, I allowed that to happen. I didn't wake up one day and say, I am going to slowly kill myself with food, anymore then a drug addict or an alcoholic does. But each of us can choose to save ourselves. Even if we were brought up in that enviroment and the deck is stacked against us, we can choose something different for ourselves.

And Dan, if the people around you cannot except the choices you make for yourself and love you because or even despite those choices, if they cannot be supportive of you, then those are not people I would CHOOSE to have around me anyway.

Although, I have to agree, there are some choices that would be wrong for anyone, like choosing drugs and alcohol as a way of life.. but most choices, about life style, jobs, what is important to us.. those choices should be supported.

So no, I don't agree with you Dan... Life is a choice everyday...
Comment by photo2010 on November 3, 2009 at 2:28am
I think we have a certain degree of ability to make choices in life, but there are events and forces acting on us that we could never have anticipated, no matter how educated our choices are. I was on a solid track in life, career. independence, when one day my leg went numb and I was in excruciating pain without warning. To a large extent, my choices were whittled down by that event. I guess I have to agree with Dan. Free will is largely an illusion. I believe entropy trumps choice.
Comment by JustDee on November 3, 2009 at 2:41am
@photo- again, I'm not saying that there aren't "forces" or road blocks in our lives.. but again, we always have a choice of how we deal with these things. If we are willing to just let life run over us, it will.. I know, I let it run over me for the last 25 years...

I'm just not willing to lie down and let it drown me.. I am choosing to find and alternative route. If I can't get through the road block, then I will go around it.. but there are always other options to doing nothing. I don't believe in entropy, I don't believe in fate. We make our own fate. I always say, "everything happens for a reason. You can either learn from it and make the reason count or you can wait for it to happen again."

Magic is an illusion, if you think free will is an illusion, then I don't know what to say to that.. it seems defeatist....I choose not to be defeated...
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on November 3, 2009 at 2:56am
You can't control what comes AT you, but you can control what comes FROM you. Is that what you're saying, Dee...? :o)

I would agree.

I've seen you in impossible situations, and you didn't give up no matter what. Most people would just feel hopeless and they'd despair in the face of what you've been up against (those who don't know you have no idea).

That's what I love most about you, Dee. I love that spirit.
Comment by JustDee on November 3, 2009 at 3:08am
I guess that explains it the best way Syd...

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
-- Voltaire

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