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Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Make Good Choices"

When the children were in their teen years I used to tell them to "make good choices" before they would leave the house to go somewhere.   Just a subtle reminder of what they had been taught from a moral framework and to always let that framework be their guide for any actions/decisions that they might be called to make as individuals in the big wide world.

As a Stoic, it really is all about the choices we make.  The ability to discern right from wrong, a virtuous action from a vicious one, what is a good and what is an indifferent and what is just plain bad, is our main "weapon" in the battle of life.  Although there are some universal choices, saving a child, etc. based on the exercise of virtue versus vice, a lot of our choices are individual in nature.  What may be a correct choice for a friend or family member may not be the best choice for me.  Taking the Stoic yardstick of "good, bad or indifferent" we can measure our choices and decide whether the indifferents; where we live, food choices, clothing, employment, etc. are the best choice for us.  Sometimes they are a good choice but the timing at that moment is all wrong for us.  Often we have to choose between  an okay choice and an even better choice.  Looking forward to the possible outcomes or consequences of our choices is a great tool for the decision making process.  Although we are not possessed with 20/20 vision, except in hindsight, as we grow older the possible outcomes of choices become more predictable, following patterns that have already occurred in our lifetime.  The main thing needed in order to be discerning is a clear vision of what you want your life to look like, what your goals are.  You then craft your life like a discerning farmer, moving foward selecting good fruit and releasing the bad or the lesser.   We weed out the chaff and the less fruitful seedlings so that our harvest is a plentiful one.

Let us begin to work at planting good seed, discerning the weak plants from the strong, and looking forward to the bountiful harvest to come.