I had an insight about choices recently. I was talking with a friend about going travelling overseas and he asked - “Why travel? What’s wrong with New Zealand?” . I didn’t have an answer, I just thought “There’s nothing wrong with New Zealand - I just want to travel”, but still he’d got the impression I was trying to get out of New Zealand.
Wanting to go somewhere else really doesn’t have much to do with New Zealand and what’s wrong/right here. The question was appropriate to where I was at when it was asked but as I moved past it I discovered gift.
When faced with several alternatives, choosing one of them doesn’t mean anything about the others.
This applies to other situations too:
- Ending a relationship doesn't mean anything was wrong, it was just no longer what you wanted.
- Moving to another country/city/house doesn't mean anything was wrong with the current one. You are just choosing to move to something else.
This is particularly relevant for me as I’ve recently accepted a job offer. This is a change from working as a freelance web developer, and happens when I’m really beginning to enjoy my work. There are even some things I’m not too sure about with the new job, like working more normal hours again!
But it’s a new challenge I’ve chosen. Hopefully I will enjoy it, I won’t know till I’m there. But I do know that if I compare it to freelancing then I’ll always find something to dislike.
Often when we make a change in life, we are asked to justify that choice. In an effort to justify ourselves to other, we sometimes make the way things were into ‘the wrong way’, when in fact we just chose a new way.
I originally wrote this post on Anzac day. At the dawn service that morning I was struck by a comment about along the lines of “We do not seek to glorify war, but to honor those who fought for our freedom”. It is worth remembering this - in choosing to not go to war does not in itself dishonor those who have fought for us in the past, it simply says that we have now choosen something different.
Again, this applys to many things in life: We do not have to dishonor our parents and/or ancestors when we choose a different path from them. I think we would be wise to understand their choices and the consequences, whether we disagree or not. Then choose our futures freely.
Choose the future while honouring the present & the past.