Monday, September 13, 2010

Wrong?


Guest Blogger: Dewin

*Dewin is actually one of the first blogs I followed and vice versa. She found me quite by accident, and bestowed a Sunshine Blog award upon me. From there, I have met one of the most fascinating, intelligent and deep thinkers I have known. Her blog is inspiring and raw and real. She is an artist - a photographer - and here is one of her pics. Enoy!

When I go to a restaurant, I am notorious for ordering the same thing every time. On the occasion that I stray to other parts of the menu, I always seem to be disappointed with the outcome. And, so I politely push the menu aside and repeat my order word for word from my last visit.


In this life, it would seem we have endless choices. Where we go, what we do, who we associate with, who we love. When you are young, people tell you that you can be anything you want to be. Every children’s theme park encourages you to dream, and dream big. But somewhere around age twelve that stops. As we travel the familiar journey from junior high to high school to college to the “real world”, our path gets narrower. We get the grades to get into the college that supposedly gets us the job that allows us what is called “upward mobility”. This tidy plan has a certain momentum that seems to increase incrementally until we can’t even see in any other direction.

A friend told me a story this past weekend about a teacher she knows. This teacher has a teenage son who attended the elite private high school where she worked. Yet, he continually became more aloof, one day telling her that he hated school. His mother was heartbroken that he would hate anything. So, she made a choice. She pulled him out of school, bought an RV, and they traveled around the country for a year.

So, I wondered which is better- more choices or less? I asked myself: why do I prefer fewer choices in a restaurant? Because when I order something that is not good, I am angry with myself that I made the wrong decision and wasted my money. So, I continually order the same thing so that I can never be wrong, thereby always being right. I never venture out of the safety zone for fear of things being worse. Thus, the reason for the path.

Human beings have unknowingly lessened their choices by decreasing the size of their world into a nice manageable mass. The universe can’t possibly contain other life forms. Earth is the only planet worthy of such advancement. And the universe shrinks into a single planet. Other countries/religions/cultures/languages are inferior, even evil. And the planet shrinks into one country. My path in life is to go to school, go to college, and get a job. And your life shrinks into a credit card commercial.

People enforce limitations on themselves and their lives for the sole purpose of not being wrong. They don’t want to worry that maybe they made the wrong life choice, so they simply take away all the other choices. They are safe. And, if anyone around them veers from their rat maze, they condemn them as wrong, or even crazy.

But what if we were a little crazy? What if we ended up being wrong? Would that be so wrong?

5 comments:

wordygirl said...

This really spoke to me.
I couldnt help, but giggle because I always order the same thing at my fav. restaurants and last month I ventured and ordered something new, at the suggestion of my kids, and found a new favorite. Funny how we can get stuck, but many things are ruined by offering 100 choices.
As a mother I realized early on that the norm. wasnt going to work for my kids and after a few months of walking my oldest to school and trying to help him stop crying because he was so unhappy, I started home schooling. He did so well and when we talked about putting him back into school he got so depressed. You just cant worry about the opinions of others when it comes to your family.

Mama Hen said...

This is a great post! Life is made up of so many choices we can make each day. I think we all try to stay within a range that seems like we aren't taking off in the wrong direction. However, I bet that son learned far more by taking a year to travel with his mom in an RV the he would have in the classroom. It may have changed his life and opened his eyes to what a great world this is. Hope you are great Nicole!

Mama Hen

Jen G-son said...

You know, I do restaurant reviews from time to time, and I found a fool proof plan: Eat whatever your friend has as well as what you have, to try it all. You don't spend as much money, you get to try new things, it's win-win :)

Robin said...

I order the same thing at certain restaurants. At other restaurants I am more adventuresome. I do think that we don't like change because it is scary. However, if we can decide that letting go of that fear is the only way to really live a free life, a spontaneous life, a deliberate life, than all boundaries disappear. This, of course, is easier said than done. It is something I am working on right now. Loved your perceptiveness.

Doris said...

I know lots of times I find myself in that "limiting" mindset because I am allowing my past dictate my present choices. I am scared that I may make a mistake that results in hurt that was experienced in the past...but if I stick with what I know, and don't venture out, I won't get hurt. I don't think we are crazy...I think we are by nature self-preserving.

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