April 27th, 2005

abstract butterfly

morning aphorism

In every life one makes choices and eliminates alternatives. Even the most apparently fortunate lives require trade-offs to live. Even the most difficult lives can contain small, redeeming moments. To imagine that one's own choices are more noble or worthwhile than another's choices contains an air of hubris, because one is never entirely certain what another has chosen, and what another suffered or lacked as a result of their "successful" choices (or gained through a "failed" choice). As to one's own choice, it is tempting to imagine that choosing the easy, complacent path avoids pain, but it turns out there is no pain-free path. There is not even a fully ennui-free path, though some paths are strewn with ennui, while others have merely a pebble or two. Often choices seen as irrevocable or irredeemable are merely intercalary chapters to lives entirely workable. As a general rule, those choices which allow one to be kind and compassionate to others, and to be one's own truest self, work better than the choices based in fear. As a nearly universal rule, part of the fun in the choosing is to seek out people who have chosen the true and the good rather than people lost in the agony of choice. But the wonderful thing is that we choose the people and options to which we are drawn, and we love them as our choices and as themselves, almost regardless of the choices they have made.