Making a Choice is Power

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, January 2019 reflection.

Some are born rich, some are born less privileged. Some have it instant, some have it the hard way. We come from different walks of life and we have different statuses in society. Whoever we are, what matters most is our choice.

After the second semester of my second year in college, I had to stop. Leaving the university in debt. My brother could not finance my college anymore. Surely, it is devastating to postpone something we desire to finish. We just cannot get everything we want just simply because we want it.

I was powerless to do something about my financial incapability at that time, but it did not mean I was without an option. I worked as a customer service representative in a call center company and saved money for the next semester.

Working and studying at the same time is not for faint-hearted people. Juggling work performance and school requirements and examinations are thrice as much the struggle of a typical student and employee. It takes a lot of determination to be able to thrive through in difficult times. More than the determination is the inspiration pushes you: the reason why we keep on going, and why we do what we do. It is the clarity of our purpose for walking that path and the meaning that unfolds as we walk on that breeds the fulfillment of our aspiration.

Education is an important possession. It is ours forever and cannot just be taken away. As what the famous aphorism by Lao Tzu says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

After nine long years, I marched in my black toga with my head held up high.

To make a choice plays a vital role in finding clarity of our purpose and meaning to whatever we do. There is no way to undo the wrong things that transpired out of our inability to make the right choices. But we can reflect now and try to make better choices and change our future.

As the serenity prayer wishes:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the thing that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Whoever we are, wherever we are, what matters most is our choice. Our ability to make our choices should not be underrated and not be taken for granted. We make choices every day and in everything. Whether it is to simply buy groceries in the market, or even when to clean our room. When we can make choices for ourselves, we have the power to change our own lives and the lives that depend on us.

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