There is a new book out called THE END OF EVERYTHING, by Katie Mack, Theoretical Cosmologist, that for me stirs a question related to something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of--a moral justice prevailing--albeit on the largest cosmological scale possible in the author’s macro perspective. Her astrophysical projection doesn’t end well, but apparently we have tens of billions of years to get used to that.
Meanwhile, this got me thinking about things not ending well, not always turning out rosy in the balance. It’s like we always have this force pulling on us in two directions, where we can focus on the dark or the light in each moment. For many, this force feels strongly enough out of their personal control as to create a disconnect or even an existential schism, which can be scary and profoundly disorienting. Imagine having to make life choices from that place!
Choice, conscious choice, is our most important anchor, and I’m suggesting it is a more powerful force for our good and a sense of control than we often realize. In a reality where we simply don’t have full control, where we cannot just glide through life with only desired experiences and outcomes, where we look around and see a dismantling of many things we cherish, we are left with a present moment in which we must face off with the only true power we have...Choice.
We see every day in common interactions the disagreements, fights, misinterpretations, all sorts of communication breakdowns, that happen because of our choices. But think about it, disagreeing isn’t really the problem is it? We can disagree with each other. It’s the choice that comes after that which causes the biggest problem. We choose to defend, attack, shame, blame, deny or otherwise speak unkindly or disrespectfully to one another, which usually escalates into some kind of disconnection. The choice to act from the unresolved anger material inside us rather than an intention to respect one another is the fuel that drives the counter-productive fire of hatred.
We could each easily sit down and make a long list of all of the collective choices that are being made in our world today and the outcomes of those choices that don’t look to end well. And let’s face it, a lot of us are feeling pretty fixated, through watching and reading the news, on what the world is choosing and how it’s all spinning out of control. Many people are getting angrier because the anger has always been there and is bubbling to the surface to be outed and dealt with.
But what if we just pull back our attention from the masses, peel back the layers and look at our own choices, become more attentive to them right now, in every interaction, and to our own focus? What if we reassign the intelligence we have, the control we have, to calibrating our choices to fit our higher value system, to fit what we believe actually makes us better people and the world a better place? This reminds me of an older gentleman I know, who every year-end when I ask him if he has a New Year’s resolution, he tells me it’s just to be a better person. He takes that seriously. And I believe him and admire him for it. And that means he always needs to make what he considers better choices. To me its the many great choices he’s made along the way that help him stick with this simple yet profound resolve.
That’s all we got folks. Our choice. Viktor Frankl knew this as he faced extinction every day in a Nazi concentration camp and went on to document his experience in the beloved book Man’s Search for Meaning. Choice, everything we think, do, and say. Every intention we set. It’s our choice, and our best choices anchor us to the solid ground we trust, and more deeply to caring relationships with each other. And like a butterfly’s wings it affects the whole world.
Take care and make caring choices today...Melanie
Katie Mack, Astrophysicist, can be found at www.astrokatie.com