As We Move Forward: Making Choices


One of the things that sets us apart as humans is the process of making choices. Tiny babies respond to stimuli like hunger and tiredness and the attention of others. Gradually children learn to differentiate in which things and even persons to respond to and what the response will be. Making choices starts with little things like choosing which toy you want to play with. As children get older, they begin to express preferences and gradually have increasing discretion in what foods they eat, what clothes they wear and what activities they engage in. This is all a part of the very complicated process of making choices.

This is where the whole making choices thing starts to take off in some very interesting directions. Choices have consequences. To choose to go in one direction opens up many opportunities, but it also closes some off. Our families make choices for us that

Even though I grew up within a few miles of one of the Great Lakes, I did not have the opportunity to learn to swim as a child. I did take lessons as an adult, but I have never been more than a barely adequate swimmer. I made the choice to seek out summer jobs at an early age. Because I lived in a tourist area, part time seasonal jobs were readily available for young people. I chose to enhance my discretionary income through part time work and found that to be very satisfying. Some of those efforts have led me to be adventurous throughout my adult life.

I can trace many outcomes in my life to simple choices I made in areas like education, vocation, relationships and even things involving travel and recreation. It amazes me how often a single, seemingly isolated event has brought about a choice or even choices that have far reaching consequences in the future.


As we move forward, it can be helpful to examine where our lives are at presently and to examine some of the choices that seem to have led us to where we are. At the very least this examination can lead to greater understanding of how we came to be where we find ourselves. This increased understanding might also lead us to greater acceptance of ourselves as products of the choices we have made and other people who have made different choices.

I believe we make the best choices we can given the information we have. As we move forward, let us strive to make the best informed choices possible in every situation.

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