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The Choices We Make


When giving advice to young people, who for the most part don't listen to what older people have to say anyway, the one thing I try to emphasize is to make good choices, to consider options carefully, especially when it concerns an important decision or direction in life.

 I can look back at the last fifty or so years of my life and see how the choices I made impacted my future... what doors were opened to me and which ones I closed or turned away from, or missed altogether because I wasn't paying attention.  I've made a lot of "interesting" choices along the way - we could call them mistakes, or we could call them lessons, or we could just say I took the roads less traveled. 

With other choices my life could have been so much easier and more fulfilling, but then again, if I had made other choices and gone down other roads I wouldn't be the person I am now, and I am pretty much ok with who I am,  I really don't have big regrets about what I've done in life, but I am disappointed at some of the choices I made, especially where they impacted other people, and I wish that I would have thought it through more carefully.

 I do sometimes wonder  about the other choices - the opportunities that I overlooked, ignored, and sometimes even ran from. I can't help but wonder what those things would have been like and where they might have taken me.  There were some pretty interesting opportunities along the way, and all these years later I can't help but wonder what if...

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I'm linking up with In Other Words over at Patricia's Place
where the writing prompt was the following quotation:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
 by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do."
-Mark Twain



10 comments:

  1. This theme is very much on my mind lately, seeing as how we have a bunch of teens preparing to go out on their own in the next few years. Smart choices are the ones we want them to make, but we know they will make some that aren't exactly brilliant. We're praying hard for these teens. :)

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    1. It is indeed a scary world for young people these days, Christine, so many more issues to deal with than we had. If parents work hard, as you do, to teach their children the right values and to think before they act, I believe they will find their way. We all have to make a few "dumb choices" along the way so that we learn from that, hopefully they won't be critical ones. The hardest thing to see when you are young is that what you decide now can and will affect your life for many years to come, if not forever!

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  2. When you look at the consequences of choices as learning experiences, you are wise and grow from whatever choices you make or roads you travel. The "what if" would probably be there no matter what choice we make at what particular time in life. This is well thought out post, and one that makes me wonder if choices we make are part of a larger plan.

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    1. I agree totally, Val, no matter what choice we make, we will always wonder where the other road might have led. Sometimes we later find out it could have been devastating, then again sometime the choice we made wasn't so great, but always we learn from our choices, and hopefully we learn to choose more wisely as the years go on, I know I have! The choices I've made all worked together to lead me to Papa Bear, so there has to be the Master's touch in that!!

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  3. Giving thought to what we choose to do or not do is the key to good choices. When I look back I know this is true for the good choices I made were carefully considered. Then there were the plain stupid choices...I do try to live without the if only and what if's. Thank you for linking to In Other Words.

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    1. You are so right Patricia, off-the-cuff decisions based purely on the emotions of the moment tend to lead us astray, the good choices are ones we considered more carefully. Some choices I made I'll just have to plead "temporary insanity" because I have no better explanation! :-) I wonder if all roads, whether twisting or straight, eventually will lead us right where we're supposed to be... maybe!

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  4. There are some choices i made that turned out to be not so good at all, but yet they all led me to where i am now. My children are making their choices now, and learning some lessons, and i hope i will be here to give them advice or help if they need it.

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  5. I am glad I made most of my bad choices when I was young -- and had plenty of time to re-evaluate my life and it's direction. With very little harm done in the long run. I know I have to allow my kids the same journey is some aspects - but boy, I am not thinking that is going to be easy to watch! Hopefully we are teaching them good choices.

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  6. It's impossible to give good advice to young people. Scientifically, I mean. The part of the brain that control decision making isn't fully developed until our mid-20s. Combined with lack of life experience, young people are almost destined to do what we older folks might consider to be very stupid things.

    And for the most part, it's ok. Bad decisions don't always mean a bad life. Sometimes it just means a bumpy road. I wouldn't recommend the way my wife and I handled our youth. Dropping out as we became parents before I was 18, not a smart way to do things. But it's not impossible to over come such long odds. 22 years later, my daughter is about to graduate college and my youngest is in his first year. We struggled and have had a lot of help on the way but we're making it still.

    I try to remember that when I see my children make bad decisions. I wish they'd listen, their lives would be easier. But maybe the point of life isn't to look for the easiest route but to make the most of the road you do take.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)