Choice by Indu Balakrishnan

Life is a matter of choice. Every choice we make, makes us. It is a fact that everything we do is based on your choices we make. We sometimes tend to think that our parents or our past relationships, the economy or the weather are to blame. We don’t realise that when we take responsibilities for our chances, we might actually do something about it. 

A very good example of a matter of choice is the people in our lives. Yes, time decides who we meet. The heart decides who we want in our lives. And our behaviour plays a role in deciding who stays in our lives. 

There is a downside to having choices. It does feel like life is like a multiple choice question. But, it is not the question that confuses us. Having too many choices brings out this FOMO in us as well. What if I pick this and lose out on that. In a buffet, you can taste everything. But when you are ordering a la carte, the dish ordered by the table next you predominantly looks more appealing. It does not matter what your choice was, it’s not as good-looking as the other one. Grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side syndrome. 

We create the person we become, thanks to our choices. In time, we are the sum-total of all the choices we have made in life. Be it the person we are in a relationship with, the diet we have picked or the books we have read. They influence who we are and what we become. And if we do not like our lives, maybe we need to make better choices, yes? 

If the jeans do not fit, are we eating wrong? If we hate going to work, do we need a better job or another boss? If we are angry or lonely, have we picked the right people to spend our time with? 

I love the cockroach theory. 

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic-stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behaviour of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behaviour?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?

He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of those people to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my spouse that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. More than the problem, it’s how I choose to react to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

A happy person is not happy because his life is perfect. He chooses to make the most of what he has. 

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