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Options October 12, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in The Daily Grind.
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When we come into this world, all we have is potential. There are no sacred cows, no nonstarters, nothing is impossible. We start out with a blank slate — or at least we should — and the world is our oyster.

So we start to make plans. Aspire. Dream. There isn’t anything too small nor too big nor too fanciful nor too whimsical for our imaginings. We want to be any number of things when we grow up — fireman, astronaut, cowboy, doctor, President, RICH — and we have the confidence to believe that, yes, we can be.

Then life happens. We grow older (not necessarily “up”), and along the way come face to face with the realities of this world. We make choices — some would say, compromises — and learn to cope with the consequences of our decisions. Each door we open leaves others closed to us, and for every person that finds himself so far away from his original aspirations as to render these unattainable, there are others whose choices will have opened to them worlds of possibilities even they could not previously imagine.

Thus, to reflect upon our lives is to look at our decisions and understand how we got to where we are. “What might have been” is irrelevant. It won’t even matter if we “sold out” relative to our original ambitions, or if we rank among the lucky few that others look upon with either envy or admiration.

All that really matters is simply:

Are we happy with the decisions we’ve made?

Are we better persons because of them?

Have our choices made a positive difference in the lives of others?

May we all be fortunate enough to answer in the affirmative, or at least have opportunities to try.

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