Someone asked the other day, “What are good choices anyway?” I just happened to read it on her tweet (Hey, Tree..this one’s for you!)..and told her I’d have to write a blog about it!
I’ve thought a lot about this over the last 24 hours…and here’s what I’ve come up with:
Choices made by parents
As parents, we have to make all kinds of choices. I am sure I am not the only one who has questioned some of the choices I’ve made as a parent. Parents make mistakes. We often joke that our first child is our guinea pig, and then we learn as we grow as a family. It’s been my experience that the older we get, the more we relax as parents and things that may have seemed detrimental with the first child isn’t so much so as we get to number seven…to all of the oldest children out there….I apologize for all past, present, and future parents. You’ll get there one day, and then you’ll understand.
That said, in regards to our children, a lot of choices we make are sacrificial choices; therefore they are good choices. An example of this is our dear Drama Queen. She was born with severe, life threatening food allergies. As an infant, there wasn’t a formula she could drink. And, she was allergic to my breast-milk if I ate anything she was allergic to. I just knew we’d both die of starvation before it was all over. I made a good choice to stop eating anything she was allergic to so that she could be healthy. I was super skinny and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was necessary to help her. (My husband however, made a bad choice when he ate chocolate in front of me, knowing I couldn’t have it. 😯 )
Sometimes we have to make choices for the benefit of others, even when it’s not easy for us. When we choose sacrificial love, we both benefit, therefore it’s a good choice.
Parenting adult children offers a whole new realm of choices. I believe as parents we have to make the choice to support them in certain decisions, even when we don’t agree with them. For instance, they may choose a career path that is not what we would have chosen for them, but it’s their choice as adults to decide what it is they want to do as a career for the rest of their life. That choice may not make them wealthy or may not make life easy for them, but it’s their choice. Supporting them in this area is definitely a good choice. 🙂
Choices made under the influence of others
As parents, we have often heard, “but so and so is doing it,” to which we respond, “Well, if so and so jumped off a cliff, would you follow them?”
Too often we are influenced in our choices by others. Just because everyone else is doing this, does not mean it’s the right choice for us. Bad choice. Nuff said?
Influencing others in their choices
This one is a little more difficult. Two scenarios:
Influencing your friend or loved one to make a choice because it benefits you, not them, is not a good choice. Now, I’m sure we can think of a time when we really wanted someone to do something because it was to our benefit…you know you’ve all worked really hard to persuade someone, right? Now, if that’s a choice to go to Chic-fil-A, then, ok, not so bad (unless they are allergic to peanuts…)
But when it comes to life choices, or if they are seeking your advice, put some thought into it, and make sure you have integrity, because you need to make sure you are not thinking about what would be better for you, and instead, what is it that they need to hear. Remember, what may be good for you is not necessarily what is good for them.
I’m all for impulsivity and flexibility…living life to the fullest. I can impulsively choose ice cream or chocolate at just about any moment! Not necessarily good for my weight, but definitely good for my spirit!
I can impulsively choose to buy a gift for someone just because I know they’d like it. Good choice.
But sometimes, we need to step back and think about the consequences. How will this affect me in the long run? Is it going to hurt someone else? Is there any benefit to this choice at all other than right at this moment it will make me feel better? Too often we make choices based on the moment; not always a good choice.
Which brings me to the next topic:
Your Word and Integrity come with a choice.
Promises are made by choice. Ever heard the term, empty promises? Think about what it is you are promising before you make the promise. Honoring your WORD is a good choice. Empty promises, not so much.
Integrity; we can choose every day to live our life with integrity. Integrity=good choice. Selfishness=bad choice.
Make sure when your choice affects someone else you put careful thought into it first.
Choices made in relationships
This one is hard because we tend to hurt those we love the most. Why? Because we know they will always be there for us.
A choice to put someone else’s need ahead of our own in the relationship. Good choice. Why? Because if both parties are more concerned about the other, it’s a win, win. Ever heard of the story where the girl cuts her long hair to buy a gold chain for her husband’s watch, but he sells the watch to buy a beautiful comb for her long hair? The choice to love unconditionally is always a good choice.
And so, here are some of my thoughts on “What are good choices anyway?”
Choosing to do what is right and true and good is always a good choice.
Thanks for the inspiration, Miss Tree!