I had a really challenging day the other day. Details not important. At a certain point I had a thought that led to another thought & specifically the word “choice.” I’m not going to go into a great philosophical ramble about the concept of choice (could do so, but don’t feel so inclined & don’t have the time just now).
I thought “Hey, I’ll do a search through that 94-page quotations document of mine & see what comes up, since I find the word & the concept really rather important.” So that’s what I did. & there are some beauties, & here they are, in no particular order:
“On my 70th birthday, I was asked how I felt about mankind’s prospects. This is my reply: We are behaving like yeasts in a brewer’s vat, multiplying mindlessly while greedily consuming the substance of a finite world. If we continue to imitate the yeasts, we will perish as they perish, having exhausted our resources and poisoned ourselves in the lethal brew of our own wastes. Unlike the yeasts, we have a choice. What will it be?” ~ Farley Mowat, 1991
“In the long run, the real choice is not jobs or environment – it’s both...or neither. What kind of jobs will be possible in a world of depleted resources, poisoned water and foul air, a world where ozone depletion and greenhouse warming make it difficult even to survive?” ~ United Steelworkers of America, 1993
“When we consider what, to use the words of the catechism, is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left. But alert and healthy natures remember that the sun rose clear. It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What every body echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new...” – Henry David Thoreau, in Walden
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, or say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.” – Charles Swindoll
“I think we locate freedom in the wrong place. We say things like, ‘Instead of becoming an engineer, I’m going to become a doctor.’ But freedom is the choice to be aware of the life you’re living and the self that’s living it. And therefore freedom is the act of consciously serving something greater.” – Jacob Needleman
“If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. That’s your choice.” – Noam Chomsky
A Divine Invitation
You have been invited to meet
No one can resist a Divine Invitation.
That narrows down all our choices
To just two:
We can come to God
Dressed for Dancing,
Be carried on a stretcher
To God’s Ward. ~ Hafiz, translation by Daniel Ladinsky, *I Heard God Laughing*
“There is a powerful distinction that becomes crystal clear when we think about fate and destiny. While fate may be thought of as passively dealing with the challenges that face us by doing nothing, destiny, on the other hand, is the child of action. Our destiny must be put into motion to be realized. In the case of the crises facing us, that action comes in the form of our choices. Destiny is what awaits us, as individuals and together, as we make the choices that lead to the fulfillment of our greatest potential.” – Gregg Braden in Deep Truth – Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny, and Fate
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan quoted in Deep Truth – Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny, and Fate, by Gregg Braden
“Choice is so important because it actually constitutes what it means to be a person.” – Joanna Macy in World as Lover, World as Self – Courage for Global Justice & Ecological Renewal
“Do-er and deed co-arise. Hence our continuity of character, bearing the stamp of repeated choice and habit. Hence also our freedom, for new options arise with each present act of will.” Joanna Macy in World as Lover, World as Self – Courage for Global Justice & Ecological Renewal
P.S. What I chose to do after my challenging day was sit & watch an Eckhart Tolle DVD borrowed from a friend – the one called ‘Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat – Stillness Amidst the World.’ I watched the first half of it, & my, what a tonic it was!! I’ve mentioned Eckhart Tolle a great many times on this blog, most recently here (good links at this other post). Anyone anyone anyone can benefit greatly indeed from Tolle wisdom, whether in book or CD or DVD form. Such wisdom & sanity he speaks, & emanates…
P.P. S. if you have a great quotation about choice you’d like to see shared around, please feel free to send it via a comment to this blog!!
‘Quote of the day’with this post: “To be truly radical is to make hope possible, not despair convincing.” – Raymond Williams