Choose: to live.

Be glad for your choices in life. Rejoice in your ability to choose. The choices you make every hour of every day of every week of every year are the embodiment of the natural liberty granted to you by nature. Each choice you make shapes your life and who you are. To abandon your choices to those of others is to abandon you and your being to those who make the choices.

If a single person were to attempt to make the choices in your life for you, would you like the outcome? Someone without your feelings and without your memories, someone without your experiences and without your imagination, someone without your aspirations and without your desires. How agreeable would you be with your life? Would you not prefer to make the choices for yourself? Of course! You are the best informed person on your own life. You can make better decisions regarding your life than anyone else. So, if a single person is unable to make the choices for your life better than yourself, what makes you think a multitude could do a better job? You may say, “But it cannot! And I do not!”.

I do not believe you.

Each day, all around me, in the flurry of the train, amidst the masses on the street, throughout the the bounds of the internet, and in the silence of my mind, I hear the enduring cry for a renouncement of decisions and an abdication from responsibility.

Make all those decisions presented to you because through decisions you impact the world around you. The more decisions you make the greater your impact on the world, but be warned. Do not make decisions for others as doing so is a violation of their freedom, of which their decisions are the manifestation, and is a corroboration of their attempted servitude. Do not take part in a system of self-immolation and gradual consolidation of decision-making power realized by purposeful renouncement by a person of their own liberty. Hold each other responsible for each other’s life, and do not hold anyone else responsible for your life.

To exercise your liberty, making decisions, is to live. The greater the decisions you give to others, the greater your loss of life. Choose: to live.

QOTD 03/10/2015

This coming at you from Alexis de Toqueville

“So the State is full of solicitude for the happiness of the citizens, but it wants to be the unique agent and the sole (illegible word) of it. It is the State that takes care of providing their security, facilitating their pleasures, directing the principle affairs; the State itself creates roads, digs canals, directs industries, divides inheritances. It may even be able to plow the earth and finally take away from each man even the difficulty of living!

“Equality of conditions has prepared men for all these things; it has disposed them to bear them and often even to regard them as a good.

“This is how, aiding itself sometimes with the vices of men, sometimes with their weaknesses, often with their inexperience, the central power little by little and without effort takes hold of the entire life of a democratic people. It does not tear their rights away from them; their rights are abandoned to it. It does not do violence to mores; it does not overturn ideas, but it gently directs both towards servitude.

~Alexis de Toqueville, What Type of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear from American Democracy

I was reading a chapter from American Democracy and ran across this bit. Think on it. Especially those parts in bold.

P.S. The part in parentheses that says “illegible word” is because it was transcribed form a notebook.

What is “better”?

Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m back. I’ll post a quote later today. Here is my conclusion regarding my posts on choices. I’ll have another topic soon.

Hello again. I will be continuing with my discussion regarding choices. Last time I discussed what I meant by, and how I concluded that, “There is an answer that is right or best in every decision.” (See On Choices) This time I will more fully explain how more choices = better choices.

So, the most important word in the statement, “More choices are better choices.” is better. By what measure are more choices superior to fewer choices? Why is it that the goodness of more choices surpasses the goodness of fewer choice? Is having more choices better than having fewer choices because of the outcome? Is it better because of the inherent goodness or badness of choices? Is it that freedom, being the ability to choose, is inherently good and more choices provide more freedom? Well, I think the most important question here is: how is it that we determine what is good or what is bad?

So, I wrote that bit above soon after my last actual post but got stuck and left it for a while, too long in fact. However, I did think of something so I’ll describe that below.

If we are goal-directed, as discussed last time, then having more choices will allow us to more effectively reach those goals. I don’t know about you but reaching goals seems like a good thing to me. Maybe you don’t think so, or maybe you think it is dependent upon the goal but I’d say that reaching a goal itself is good to some extent regardless of the goal.

Basically, if you have more choices, you will be in a position to more effectively reach your goals in life, and therefore more choices are better than fewer choices. Do with that information what you will.

QOTD 02/25/2015

Everything’s you’re own fault if you’re any damn good.

-Ernest Hemingway

I picked this quote because it brings to light a certain feature of successful people. They do not place blame. They take responsibility for their own success. If you want to be successful you need to take responsibility for your own success and more important your failures. Own up to your failures, even those you don’t think you can or could have done anything about, because chances are you can or could have done something about it. We have the opportunity to learn much more from our failures than our successes.

QOTD 02/24/2015

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
-Edmund Burke

 

I quite like this quote from Burke as it embodies an idea that I think is true throughout our lives: every little bit counts. Without the tree a forest is naught. Without the individual a society is naught.

On Choices

Alright, so in my last post on choices I stated that, “There is an answer that is right or best in every decision.” I wanted to expand on this further as I think it is important to both that post and life as a whole.

So, to start off, this idea presupposes that there is a goal towards which you are reaching. It may be that you want to be a professor, you want to buy a new computer, or you want to simply have a fulfilling life. If we assume there is a goal towards which you are reaching then depending on how you want to reach that goal there are best, or right, choices to be made along that path. If you want to be a professor, it is likely that it is best for you to go to graduate school. If you want to buy a new computer it may be best for you to not buy a new TV. These are decisions that are obvious, however, with easily defined goals and easily definable steps to reach those goals. What about when the goal and the steps are not so clear?

Well if the steps towards a goal are uncertain then your sub-goal is then to figure out what those steps are. You ask friends and family for advice, you search online, or you read up on the topic at the library. Then as you acquire more information on the matter you begin to see what steps must be taken and those steps then become your new sub-goal. If the end-goal itself is uncertain then you start by trying to determine what your end-goal is or should be. Once you have decided on an end goal you then attempt to determine the steps necessary to reach that end goal.

Ok, so what if you don’t have an end-goal and you simply want to enjoy life for itself without any purposeful goal? Well that is your goal: to enjoy life for itself. The steps may then be to simply follow your heart and do as you please. Now, I do not think that is actually true of anyone, I think everyone has a goal in life, but it is your prerogative to think what you will.

This all boils down to the idea that as human beings we are goal-oriented. Nothing we do is without purpose or direction. We always have a goal in mind for any particular action. It may not always be a conscious goal or an extremely important or fundamental goal, but it is a goal nonetheless. We do not do anything without reason. I have often heard people say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Often this is attributed to a strange coincidence or an unfortunate event, and is meant to imply that all events happen for a reason. However, I think this idea has been derived from our sense of our own reasoned action that we unwittingly apply to the physical world around us.

This is why I say, “There is an answer that is right or best in every decision.” We are goal oriented beings that do nothing without reason and that considering our intentions there is always a best decision to be made in order to reach the goal we have set forth for ourselves.