Saturday, August 13, 2011

the paradox of living in a world of possibilities

Sometimes it seems that the world literally is our oyster.  The possibilities and opportunities lay spread before us, glittering with potential.
Should i live here? or there?  Should I date him? or him?  Should I take this job? Or that one?  Could I learn this skill? Or that skill?

We live in a world of immediacy where we are promised our hearts desires are literally only a click away.  A new friend, a new career, a new house is there for the coveting 24/7.

Certainly this can be incredibly liberating and exciting - that feeling of being in control of our own lives and our own choices.

But what about when the choices become overwhelming?  Instead of the two or three cars at the yard to choose from, there is now entire websites devoted to convincing you to buy one of 5000.  Instead of a traditional boy meets girl model, you can choose to 'date' as many people as you wish - concurrently - for as long as you wish.  Instead of the well worn path of work, save, buy a house, we have the option of living somewhere new every 6 months.

And yet, for most of us - the reality is we don't make any of those choices.

With all those amazing things just waiting to be experienced, perhaps we don't want to risk missing out on any of it.  Maybe we don't trust our own judgement enough to be able to commit a first YES or NO?  Or maybe we just like having a backup plan?

Partly perhaps because saying YES to one thing, means saying NO to something else. Which requires commitment, and risking ourselves.

I read once of the ubiquitous can't commit man.  He said to his girlfriend ''let's not have a family - when it's just us we can fly off to Paris at a moments notice...or get it on in the kitchen any afternoon we want...or eat out every night.''.  but after 10 years, they had not once been to Paris, the kitchen remained unsullied, and they ate dinner on their laps in front of the TV most evenings.

Seems the possibility of choice is far more exciting that the reality of actually making one.

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