Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Recently I've been thinking a lot about choices. After much thinking I've come to the decision that the things that people think are inherent qualities or personality traits or feelings you can't help are, for the most part, choices. Then I started thinking "how can I choose to have a personality trait or a quality if its just inside me?" The answer is that there are VERY few things that ONLY happen inside your head. For the most part, every thought, inner monologue and CHOICE effects our personalities and our actions towards other people. For example:
This is the one everyone talks about. "Love is a verb" is what they always say. You don't just feel love, love inspires you to do things you wouldn't normally do when you're not feeling it. This is all true, but because it effects your behavior it is also a CHOICE. I can feel the butterflies, the exhilaration, the agony, and the all encompassing whirlwind that love has to offer...but only after I give in. You don't HAVE to love anyone. True, sometimes it feels like it because there is so much crap bursting inside you that if you don't admit to it you feel as if you'll explode...but you probably wont. Its that admission, the giving in, the (in my case) "oh fine already I guess I love him now leave me alone so I can turn my life upside-down even though it makes NO sense" decision. Its a decision to give up what is logical for what is emotional. Giving up reason for instinct. Choosing to ignore your fears and focus on your giddiness. Love is a force you use to act, not a force acting upon you.
This is an interesting one. It has a lot in common with love but its slightly different. Friendship is another verb, it is a relationship, and all relationships are active, living, breathing things...until you forget to feed/water/potty them and they die a withering death like your old tomagatchi in 6th grade. In my opinion, friendships take more time, more work. Friendship comes from your choice to be around someone who you have fun being around. I personally think that Brandon Flowers and I would get along great, we have the same beliefs, the same taste in music, and I'm sure a million other things in common (wishful thinking)..but he isn't my friend. Unfortunately, we've never met, let alone spend time together. So no friendship exists based solely on my belief that there SHOULD be one. He has to choose to be friends with me too.
Its believing in something without seeing it. But more than just a belief, faith gives us the motivation to live our lives in a certain way. Without faith we'd all go to bed terrified that we might not wake up in the morning-which I sometimes do anyway- but the remainder of the population isn't as paranoid as me and believes with all their hearts that the sun will be back in a few hours and their lives will have some sort of order that they can predict. No one is forcing us to believe that, we do it because we choose to, because going to bed every night wondering if you'll ever see the sun again seems like a waste of time and emotional energy when its come up every morning before. We choose to have faith in the things that we believe. No one can implant faith into you, you have to make the decision to not only allow it to be resident in your heart and mind, but to let that faith dictate your actions in the world.
It's more than just finding a pencil (Broadway reference). Happiness, like love, sometimes defies all logic and reason. This is because it is another choice. I'm not saying that outside sources don't have any effect on a person's happiness. They do. I'm pretty sure that no one has lived their entire lives without having a bad day or surviving a bout of depression, its the human condition. What I am saying is that happiness is how we can choose to react to those outside sources. Its not an easy choice when bad things are happening, when it feels like your world is crumbling around you the last thing you want to do is put on a big smile and laugh it off. Yet somehow, people seem to do it. Somehow people are able to forget that their boss just yelled at them for something they didn't do, and remember that awesome toy they're gonna buy when they get paid. Happiness is a choice, and a choice you have to WORK to keep up, but isn't that what everyone is searching for? I guess not, I guess REALLY people are looking for happiness without having to do anything to get it, but that is just not how the things happen. And to quote Elle Woods: "Happy people just don't kill their husbands..."