I am grateful for choices.
As adults, we all get to make choices everyday from how to spend the next 30 minutes to what to where we want to live. We aren’t always cognizant of our choices but they are there and sometimes, as Americans, choice becomes overwhelming. Sometimes it would be easier if someone else could make choices for us once in awhile.
I just read The Hunger Games Trilogy. It is not an easy story to forget. Katniss Everdeen has been in my head for the past several weeks. I even read several books of essays so I could keep thinking about why I can’t get her out of my thoughts… The people from the Capital had traded their ability to make important choices in their lives for a life of plenty; plenty of food and plenty of entertainment. Katniss and the people of Panem, however, did not have the luxury of not choosing. They had to choose every single day to keep going or stop, to put one foot in front of the other or not, to live or to die.
Katniss’ only real choice was to keep going regardless of what other people’s agendas might be. I don’t believe that she was a puppet for the Capital, Snow or Coin. She was in charge of her choices, it was just that she didn’t have many. Katniss simply continued to do what she had been doing in the Seam which was to choose to keep going, to survive. Before Mockingjay was written, there was a lot of publicity on whether she would ‘choose’ Gale or Peeta. However it was never really a choice. Katniss chose to keep going, to survive and after everything she had been through she needed to choose a life of peace represented by Peeta. She had to choose to heal after the lifetime of trauma that she experienced in 6 years. Katniss couldn’t make any more choices and instead let the universe allow her to rest. It was the best ending possible.
When I was a child and then a teenager, I did not have many choices either. My family was always in the midst of caous. I could choose to wallow in misery or not, to keep going or not, to thrive in spite of it all or not. I went on to college despite being told in would be a waste of time, had a career in sales and marketing, went to graduate school and now have a wonderful family and friends to boot. All of which required a million choices every single day. It is funny though because I never had the perception of choice but instead a very clear path from here (not so great) to there (the promised land). I kept walking, running and sometimes crawling through every open door. Maybe the choices were so far apart that it made it no choice at all.
Today, I know that I have lots of choices and I am so, so thankful. I get to choose what I want to learn (or write) about, how I want to raise my children (along with my husband of course), where they will go to school, where we want to go on vacation or live, who my friends are, how I respond to others and on and on. What a blessing life is. We must be careful, however, to never stop making the tough choices. In America, like the Capital, it would be easy to narrow those choices down to meaninglessness without even realizing it. Choices can be a blessing and a curse depending on how we look at it. We need to choose wisely everyday as even the smallest choices today can become the roads we travel upon tomorrow.
I am thankful for my choices in life.