Choose well, for your choice is brief and yet endless. | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Choose well, for your choice is brief and yet endless.

I'm sure I slaughtered the quote, but Voltaire said something along those lines. I first read it in high school and I really loved it. I had never thought about the lasting consequences our choices carry with them, and that quote just spoke plain truth to me.

It's something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately. Choices. Agency. Decisions. I don't think we realize often enough that something that takes a split second to decide can have such huge repercussions. Now, just to clarify, I'm not talking about little choices like what you are going to eat for dinner or which jeans you are going to wear today. Of course, they could end up being huge decisions if you get food poisoning, your pants split at work or your future husband asks you out for the first time because he loved your outfit.

No, I'm talking about bigger choices than that. The kind that can lead to happily ever after, or that can ruin lives and tear apart families.

My question is this: Why do people even make these horrible choices? From the outside looking in, I am often amazed at the things people do (especially those who definitely know better). But, I am not exempt from making bad decisions. I've done it many times. However, because I've seen what choosing certain things will result in by watching people around me, there are a few decisions that I feel confident I will never make. At least, if I were faced with them right this second, I wouldn't. But in a weak moment? Who really knows what I would do.

So, the question then becomes, how does one stay strong? I have some ideas about that, and I won't share all of them here, but I guess the biggest thing is to decide before you have to decide. Like they tell kids with drugs. Decide now that you will "just say NO" if you are ever in the position where someone is offering the option. If you truly mean the decision you make before hand it should be easy--well, easier--to stick to your guns.

Anyway, I want to be better about this. Especially as a mother. There are so many choices I can make each day that will affect my children for either good or bad. They may not seem huge, but many of them are.

And I want to do the things that will have wonderful lasting effects on my girls.


  1. I think only the person can tell how resolute they were in their minds when they thought of such a thing. I think there are plenty of good people out there who fantasize about having affairs, and even though they say they'll never do it, letting your mind wander and rest on such an object is going to eat at you after a while.
    Read your scriptures. I once heard you couldn't make an eternally bad decision if you read your scriptures every day.
    You can, however, pick bad pants. :)

  2. There seems to be some bad decisions I have made in my life. Being the prime example to my own children has made me such a better person. They definately do as we do, not as we say! I wish I lived my life the same way before I had them. My convictions and standards have become stronger than ever...I hope they carry on this part of me.

  3. You sound like you have it all figured out.


  4. You can have the best of intentions, the best information possible, seek good advice, and still make mistakes that hurt. So I am very grateful for apology and the atonement. I'm so glad He will make up the difference for me. Many Blessings.

  5. what an awesome post!! thanks for sharing

  6. Definitely worthy advice worth considering.

  7. So what I'm getting from this is that I should make sure I ***always*** look cute in my jeans...


    That does make sense actually, pre-deciding. I wonder how much it really does help in the moment. I guess it's sort of similar when I try & tell friends to think through how they're going to feel/react if they get an unfavorable response to something they're about to do. It doesn't mean you'll always do/say the right thing, but it helps to have thought it through a little.

  8. I think that is one of that most difficult things about being a Mom - making sure we don't mess them up forever!

    Prayer is always the biggest help for me.

  9. How true, how true! I use this all the time working with teenagers (I think it is actually Goethe who said it though.

  10. Goethe, is who wrote "Choose well. for your choice is brief, yet endless" not Voltaire... just saying