An incredibly thought provoking and insightful post!
To add my 2 (okay, maybe 5 or 6 due to inflation) cents, I believe there are some choices we make, deep choices like our values, ethics, and the principles that we stand for, that dramatically effect outcomes in a more predictable (though of course never certain) way. I also believe that ripples do turn into tidal waves. I have posted this passage many times on my blog, in many different contexts, but I feel it fits here as well.
“Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy, or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down’s-syndrome child. Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example. Each smallest act of kindness—even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile—reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will. All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined—those dead, those living, those generations yet to come—that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands. Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength—to the very survival of the human tapestry. Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in this momentous day.” – Dean Koontz, From The Corner of His Eye
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights. It was a pleasure to read.
An Anonymous Outsider
“People have a great deal of anxiety about making decisions. Did I think this over long enough? Did I take enough data into consideration? And if you think it through, you find you never could take enough data into consideration. The data for any given decision is infinite… But worriers are people who think of all the variables beyond their control of what might happen” – Alan Watts
Is this an accurate representation of choice and decision making? For those of you who have seen the film Mr Nobody (2009) starring Jared Leto, you will have seen the possibilities that can arise from one simple choice. I’m unaware if Mr Nobody is a popular film or not, but for those who have not seen it, allow me to summarise in a way that keeps the film relevant to this topic:
(Warning: There are potentially spoilers here but I shall…
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