Choice Equals Life

"Man is wise only while he searches for wisdom. If he thinks he has found it, he is a fool." (Rabbi Ibn Gevirol)

Choice Equals Life

"Man is wise only while he searches for wisdom. If he thinks he has found it, he is a fool." (Rabbi Ibn Gevirol)

The legendary real estate tycoon stared intently at his interviewer. "Only two choices have I ever made in my life."

"And they were?" questioned the reporter.

"The first was when I decided to work seriously at being rich."

"And what was the second?"

"Recently, when I decided to retire."

"That's it?" the reporter said in amazement.

"I wish I had more", the tycoon responded, "but everything I ever did followed logically from these two decisions."

"And tell me", the reporter asked, "which was the hardest to make?"

"Without a question, the second."

"Then, I don't understand", the reporter said incredulously, "why did you make it?"

"Because," the tycoon said in a deep and soulful tone, "I realized that until that moment ... I had only made one choice in my life!"

The essence of life is choosing. It is what makes us most human. It defines who we are. It is the source of our greatest pride and our greatest pleasure.

We laud our choices, holding them high for all to see: "Come see what I have chosen; see how clever and wise I am."

When we stop choosing, we stop living. But finding meaningful choices is not easy.

In theory, you could choose whether to get out of bed or not, whether to eat or not, whether to go to work or not. But do you really have these choices? Is not doing them really a viable option?

A real "choice" has to have a reasonable alternative, the possibility just as easily to choose "Yes" as choose "No."

If we could just as easily choose between eating or not eating, if both choices seemed equally desirable and good, our lives would be very scary indeed. Every day would be a battle within ourselves: "Should I eat, or shouldn't I eat?" In the end, many people might even choose to starve!

Imagine if all our actions involved such choice. We'd be nervous wrecks by the time we got to the office!

Such a life, though, would be thrilling and exciting beyond words. It's the kind of life mercenaries sell themselves for, the excitement of having to think through the most mundane of actions: "Maybe there's a land mine under my boot. Or maybe the car is booby-trapped."

As the choices of life diminish, the more meaningless it grows.