Choices and Better Angels

February 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm (Uncategorized)

“I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

 

I am currently listening to the new(ish) Maroon 5 album, “Overexposed,” and I am really enjoying it. Totally random choice paying off. It’s a choice that worked out for me this morning and has almost nothing to do with the main thrust of this blog post, but there it is.

This morning I am thinking about consequences–of our actions, our thoughts, our words. Last night it took me a while to get to sleep, and as I suspect many people are in those moments I usually am not 100% awake and my mind flows in an almost dreamlike way even though I can’t bring myself to fall asleep. It’s like a daydream but at night.

I was thinking about how I have this desire to fix. This almost irrational belief that I can make things better regardless of the given situation. Rationally I know that I can’t, but there is a visceral part of me that is convinced that I am capable of anything at all. I have come to realize more and more that I am very fallible, and make as many or more mistakes than anyone else. I still harbor this feeling that I can fix it all, though. When you combine that with my desire to be universally liked, I find myself in this place where I try to fix the mistakes I have made with past friends and significant others instead of just letting them go on and letting go. One of the things I want to get better at is apologizing for my mishaps and then just letting people do their own thing. Sometimes the fix, if you will, is moving past and away from it all.

 

“A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.” -Sivananda

 

When we talk about consequences, we are talking about karma. People have a very skewed understanding of what karma is (as they do about many eastern religious/philosophical ideas–and if we’re being honest, western ideas as well. What culture makes popular is not always accurate in a strict sense. That’s a topic for another day). Essentially, karma is the results of one’s volitional actions–what you do produces consequences, results. People like to say things like “karma’s a bitch,” and popularize the idea that what goes around comes around. That’s a romanticized idea of karma, really. Basically no matter what you do you are generating consequences. Now do we have an idea that doing good generally brings about positive results and bad brings about negative results? Of course. That’s not a given, though. Karma isn’t an active force, it’s just another way of describing that every action has a reaction.

 

“Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.” -Thomas Huxley

 

I, like many people, have moments of greatness, moments of mediocrity, and moments of weakness. What defines us, I think, is our response to the consequences of our actions. I have not always been the best human being, the best friend, the best boyfriend, or best [insert role here]. I have moments of misjudgement, of hubris, of defeat. 2013 has thus far been a difficult year for me personally. I have had some low, low moments. Even when the darkness of my mind was hanging heavy, though, eventually I heard the calling of my better angels. When I am in dark places I just think, WWJD. What would Jordan do? Not me as I am, but the Jordan I want to be. The Jordan of someday. The Jordan that people look up to and trust. The Jordan that is courageous and kind and upbeat. When I am hesitant, when I am afraid, I endeavor to make the choice that Jordan would make so that maybe every day I am a little more like him.

I have tribulations and difficulties, but I can make it through because somewhere in me (and somewhere in all of us) there is an indomitable spirit that longs to see me realize my fullest potential. I may worry that I will end up alone and unloved, but there is an indomitable spirit within me that is worth being loved and can give the kind of love back to my friends and whoever I end up with. I am in a constant state of becoming, and even when that progress feels stilted I just need to keep placing one foot in front of the other.

 

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” -Winston Churchill

 

 

 

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