Tuesday February 12, 2019

One or two comments in recent blogs have made me think about choice, how we make choices and what the consequences are of our choices.

Some would say that we consciously make choices in the full knowledge of their implications long and short term and therefore we must accept the consequences especially the bad ones. To quote a saying that I don't like "You've made your bed so lie on it".
If someone says you've made your bed, now lie on it or you have made your bed and will have to lie on it, they are telling you in an unsympathetic way that you have to accept the unpleasant consequences of your actions or decisions.

I don't agree with this necessarily.

In my experience, I have made choices, which are based on flawed life experiences or situations I find myself in at the time. My choice therefore could be seen as a way of escaping a situation which I don't have the energy to extricate myself from in the way I ideally should.

Given ideal personal circumstances, my choice might have been very different.

I have said on this site that I don't place much importance on hindsight either. I don't mind looking back on past mistakes or choices I've made but I'm not sure I would have done anything differently.

I am sure I'm making the wrong choices even now and will look back in ten years' time and think why on earth did I do that. However, these days I hope my bad choices wouldn't be so self-destructive as ones I made in the past.

The last thing I want to say about choices, particularly bad ones, is that objectively they may look really bad but subjectively the only person they have harmed has been myself. I've made choices which ultimately protected my family but not me. One particular choice I made would seem horrific, stupid, selfish, immoral and cruel to many onlookers but it was a solution at the time which didn't harm anyone except myself although an onlooker would come to a very different conclusion.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that choice is not straightforward and we shouldn't castigate ourselves for what might be seen as disastrous choices or decisions made in the past. We made them for a reason, one that seemed the only choice at the time.

A Moodscope member

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