Sunday, September 10, 2006

Learning to know whether you love apples or pears...

...is critical.

This might sound as an awfully dumb statement, and perhaps weird too, but it is sadly true. How often is it really that we realize that our mistakes would have been impeded, that we would made a wiser decision or simply that, in a given moment we would be 'better off' had we known what we really wanted at a crucial point? Job, interpersonal relationships, parenthood: you name it.

Of course this is not to say that people act irresponsibly, fortunately. And this is why most of the people, in such crucial decisions as marriage or children decide wisely. However, the (increasing) rate of divorces, abortions and general level of discontent among people allow for a further discussion of the matter. At the same time, there is a whole other category, of the not-so-important pivotal moments that we all face in our daily lives and we do mess up, fortunately with significantly less cost.

Is that people care less about themselves? This I cannot accept as an answer, particularly in today's world where examples of selfish behavior abound. Is that people are not able to make wise decisions? Continuously increasing levels of education in (virtually) all countries of the world seem to suggest the opposite. In addition, people are acquiring versatile experiences, which in theory make them stronger and wiser. Is that decisions become harder by the day because of the sheer amount of options? This is partly true, but would someone relinquish the amount of options just to make the decision-making process easier?

My take on the issue is quite straightforward. A significant amount of 'mistakes' or 'wrong choices' result as a consequence of the individual's inability to appropriately reconcile the given situation and his personal needs/desire, with an emphasis on the latter. The akward position of not being able to decide (or to deide badly) that we often find ourselves originates in an inability to order/rank our needs/desires.

I am not suggesting that our parents' (and grandfathers') generation were all 'too right' or for the matter 'too wise', but they had two considerable advantages over us. First, they had a hierarchy system imposed on them. Be it a religion, a society code, a 'faux-pas' system, a savoir-vivre, previous generations were much more constrained than us when it came to decision-making. Second, the amount of options presented to them and the influences exerted (of whatever nature) upon them were also far less than what people today in modern societies face.

Of course I do not blame modernity and the options that we have, neither of course do I suggest that we should go back to the old times. What I am thinking instead is how wiser it would be if our education, the way we raise our children and nurture our own selves was based more on building a sound relationship of the individual with one's own self. Spiritually or secularly, through reading or exercising, alone or in company: there are very many ways. Unless one selects the path of simply 'not caring' about himself or is in good terms with fortune, knowing one's true needs and desires is crucial in avoiding pitfalls, solving dilemmmas and ultimately improving the quality of life.

3 comments:

Lenay Ensenado said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I have to say that I really find your posts enlightening. I have already bookmarked your blog for future reading. =)

"How often is it really that we realize that our mistakes would have been impeded, that we would made a wiser decision or simply that, in a given moment we would be 'better off' had we known what we really wanted at a crucial point?"

The above lines struck me so hard because prior to reading your blog, I have been thinking about the choices I have made during the crucial years of my life. =)

Pixie said...

Do you love pears or apples?
Another beautiful article I completely agree.I wish you wrote more often though!

dimitris said...

i have been thinking a lot about this, in different stages of my life and even now. i tend to think about it when the time of important decisions comes. and it's always that time, today.

i have only myself to judge from, in that respect. and i know for a fact that i have certain personal made and family/society inflicted goals/guideline for life. But I think as strong orientation as any person might have, the variety of options sometimes makes it all too confusing. cause there might be thousands of different ways to reach your goals. yet you'd always wonder if the one you took was really "the right one" if things went wrong, even if your orientation and destination wouldn't have changed by that or another option chosen.

it's all too confusing. and i think it's a little bit of both. decision making ability and orientation in life, as well as the variety of options available, and the two of them combined.

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