Life is full of choices. Come to think of it – every decision that we make is a choice between 2 or more options. Although choices make life more exciting, they also bring about the pressure and post decision stress – have we made the correct decision. The plethora of choices is not always a good thing – I always find it more difficult to make a purchase decision if there are too many options to make a choice from. Some friends have been happier to make a marriage decision (arranged marriage – a very imp one in life) by limiting their choice to five or less candidates, others have been far unhappier to look at close to 100 candidates and then realising that the 6th one was the “better” choice!!
The question that arises is – should choices always be available? Are choices always good? Maybe not. There are many things that would rather not have choices – what we can call the “negative list” these are the things that one would not do no matter how compelling the choices. For example – I cannot stay in UP although most of my relatives are there, I cannot indulge in anti national activities no matter what the payoff. Most of the moral questions should find their place in the negative list.
That also leaves us with another question – can one determine the choices that one can have in life? Or is it better to keep options open and then decide what is best from the available choices. In this case the negative list helps – if we don’t have to do something then the choices don’t matter.
The opposite of the negative list can be the “positive list” this is where we can have choices or must have choices. The positive list can be very exhaustive and may be impossible to compile. Hence it is important to have a small negative list and follow the same.
Problems arise when everything is fungible, including the choices in life. It is important to have goals in life and work towards achieving them and the choices that we make in the process are extremely important. The negative list can prevent all the indiscretions that people indulge in and then the repent.
In the last 2 weeks there have been various reported instances of powerful men having made wrong moral decisions and having seen their lives and careers being dissected by the media. Come to think of it – how can one go wrong on these very basic moral questions? I guess it is about the choices or options available. Maybe if there was a non negotiable negative list for these people these indiscretions would not have arisen.
So think through to create your own negative list and may God bless you with the power to make the correct choices.