Last weekend I had to make a painful decision. An old friend was getting married. I knew about the wedding, but I had not received an invitation, and I did not know what time the wedding was. Therefore, I forgot about it, and made plans to meet some old students that day. They are high school students, and always busy, so it was difficult to find a day when we could all meet. At the last minute, my friend called to ask me to come to her wedding. I did not want to hurt her feelings by saying no, and I did not want to hurt my students’ feelings by cancelling our plans. Whatever decision I made, I would disappoint someone.
I hated making that decision. I wished something would happen to make the problem disappear. I will not tell you what I decided to do. It is not important. What matters is that when I came home that day, I thought about the decision I had been forced to make, and about all the decisions I had made to end up in that situation. I had decided to become friends with this woman, and I had decided to keep in touch with those students. I had decided to teach in Masan, which is where I met all these people. I chose Masan only after deciding to move to Korea. And so on, and so on.
Finally, I realized that I was wrong to want the difficult decision to disappear, even though it was painful. After all, my problem was the result of many previous decisions that I would not want to change, and it had forced me to make another decision. Some decisions are easy, and some are difficult. Some decisions satisfy everyone, and some decisions disappoint someone. However, if you think back over the life that has taken you to where you are now, you will find a long line of decisions. To live is to decide. To avoid decisions is to avoid life. The best you can do is try to decide well for yourself and for the people around you.
Painful decisions are not fun, but they are useful. They remind us of the importance of decisions in our lives. They remind us that life is decisions, that a human being is the product of his decisions, and that a good life is nothing but a collection of good decisions. What will you decide today?
Daren Jonescu -
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