LIVING » FEATURE
Choices - really?
By : RANI SHAH
March 29, 2012

Are we really gifted with the free will to make choices or they are sugar-coated design of some higher being? Are we really the architect of our fate or everything is already laid out and we are mere doers; we do what we were programmed to? The existentialists will surely hate this article.

My parents had two choices- either to have sex or not to. They did and I was conceived. They had two choices - either to have me or not. They decided to have me. They could have aborted me. They could have given me away, left me in the hospital, I could have been swapped with some other baby in the children ward but it didn’t happen.
 

I could have run away from home in an early age, but I didn’t. I could have kissed him in the school ground but I didn’t. I could have slapped the boy who slipped his hand from beneath my skirt taking benefit from the crowded school bus- but I got too scared to retaliate. Even if the mid-40s man sat with both his legs spread out while I sat timid taking as little space as possible in the micro-bus, I chose not to raise my voice. My father demeaned my mother every day and night, made her life a hell, I decided to keep mum. I didn’t want to have sex at many times, but my boyfriend made me and I obliged. There too I had a choice. I could act against what had been forced upon me but I chose not to. I let all these happen. Even if I could not have made the molester to be what he is not, I could have at least given other meek ‘me-like beings’ the courage to raise voice; but I didn’t.
 

I had every opportunity to tell the guy I liked that I liked him but I let him go. I wanted to hug my friend but I decided against. I took management when I wanted to pursue psychology. I took a right turn when I could take left. I could answer back my boss but I didn’t.
 

Why do we choose against our will - against what makes us happy? And why being able to choose makes us happy? Why do we choose to be sad - do things which make us sad? Are we a sum total of our choices? Are all the choices just to confuse us, were we to choose what we chose and not what we would have preferred to, are everything already mapped out- what we choose and not? Is it all a design or coincidence? Whose hand is in there? Ours or that of the omnipresent? Can God be involved, so free to be orchestrating what we eat, drink, who we talk and sleep with, what plane we take, what time we leave home, who we marry and where we vacation? Doesn’t God have jobs of higher importance or these petty looking decisions make up the larger deeds eventually? Do we have free will? Even if we choose what we want to, were we programmed to choose it and feel happy about the democracy-esque manipulated surrounding? Are we even free to choose? And here I am not talking about choices to conquer any nation or coup a free society, the subject under discussion is the choice/free reign upon everyday things. Like I could have not written this article but I chose to.

 
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