Tanada_Feli's Travel Journals


  • 30 years old
  • From Indonesia
  • Currently in Auroville, India

2011 Winter - India

Open diary for my life experience & learning in India

Choice and decision

India Auroville, India  |  Jan 10, 2011
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 Being in certain fixed routine and small range of choice together actually create certain bond that is pleasant rather than forceful, and surprisingly the sense of being free rather than restricted. 

The other day we had an interesting discussion about choices and decision making, which come after a tricky situation which we are put in position to choose on both the available choices and on whom the decision making role lies. It became profound when reflecting on the experience that we just pass through with the discussion follow just right up.

In the complex society we are now in, we often find the choices available to us overwhelming both in number and in comparison of weight. The fact that in going on with our everyday life, however big or small, we are faced with endless choices that we need to choose and decide is daunting. On the other hand though, most of the choices isn't as much of a choice but illusion of variety of the same thing or quality, and often when we think we are deciding on ourselves it isn't really entirely ourselves that is deciding but complex external influence that is constantly affecting our mind and decision making process. A question arise, do we really have all the choices we think we have, and, do we really the one making decision as we think we do? It is something we want to deny, as it compromise the reality we thought is true about how much control and power we have over our own life, which give birth to another internal insecurity.

The interesting point come when the comparison is made between the generally independent American and dependent non-American in term of decision making, on how when we are the one when make the decision over variety on difficult choices compared to other people deciding for us doesn't necessarily mean a better result. On having the privilege to able to decide for ourselves give sense of power and control over our own life (which is actually illusory in lots of cases, due to complex external factor constantly limiting, controlling and affecting everything and our mind), but at the same time also cause burden of regret and guilt of making the wrong choices which manifest themselves in question on "what if", and the condition of lone carrier of responsibility, which might or might not come from insecurity and untrusting of other people, that cause an amount of stress.

On the other hand thought, having or letting the decision made by other, either by people that is close like family members or friends, or people that is respected or looked upon by the individual somehow resulting in more happiness and satisfaction in general. Even though the happiness might not come directly from the choice that is being made, but mostly from the bond between people in form of trusting and dependableness which is comforting (even only to know the fact that one is not alone in the whole process from decision making to the actual happening of the chosen decision), to the absent of weight of responsibility, guilt and regret that might come in case of unsatisfaction toward choice made (on which interestingly the case of blaming rarely occur but mostly goes as "it is just how it is" or "it is the will of God/ nature/ fate") hence less stress happening. Although another point for clarification is, that having no choice at all might not always be pleasant (or, absolute no role or influence in decision making) which might be the case for some form of society, so either extreme is always not the answer for better well-being.

I have to admit how true it is when after living for 2 weeks in Sadhana Forest with certain rhythmic pattern that you have to follow (which has to do with following the natural pattern), having really little range of choices of everything, it makes the mind less stressful and calm. The condition that support everybody to get involved together in certain similarity, that is of certain fixed routine and small range of choice actually create certain bond that is pleasant rather than forceful, and surprisingly the sense of being free rather than restricted. (yes, being free of constant bombarding of external-influence-and-decision-making prison) And with the simplicity that is here, we remove all the unnecessary excess that make more space to get closer to and appreciate the simplicity and essential that is.

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