It is said (philosophically) that at any given point in life we are the sum of all the choices we have made in our lives up to that point. And since no two people will ever make exactly the same choices in all situations all the time it follows with certainty that what sums up to your life will be different (at least to some extent) than my life or someone else's life.
The choices we make – or not make (for not making a choice is itself a choice) – all add up. Doors of opportunities open and close based on the choices we make. Our entire futures can be made or broken based on what seems like an innocuous decision.
And so comes to the story of Terry.
Terry (don't know if that is his real name) is a reader and commenter on another blog site. Yet it seems that Terry has made a number of decisions that haven't panned out as he hoped and now feels he is owed something back.
Terry claims to be (MasterPo only knows about him and his life based on what he has shared with other blog readers) a 55 year old unskilled, minimum wage guy living in the Rust Belt in a rented apartment. Don't know if he's married. I'm going to guess he isn't.
He says that back in the 1980's (that would make him about 30 at the time) he went to school and got a Bachelors degree in Political Science with the expectation of going on to law school to be a lawyer. But when he graduated college the market for lawyers had dropped considerably while the cost of law school had also risen considerably. Ultimately he didn't go on to law school and hasn't done anything else with his life.
Terry first came to MasterPo's attention while he was commenting on a blog article about mortgages. Terry complained that as an unskilled, minimum wage 55 year old worker he can't afford to buy a house and is stuck paying in rent what a mortgage would be. He felt the government (and by extension the American people) owed him something to make home ownership possible for him now in his later life.
Now, Terry has come under a lot of scrutiny lately on that blog site for not having taking a different career path when his ambitions of law school clearly weren't going to happen any time soon. He could have been a teacher, for example, or at least brushed up on some business skills and gotten an office job. Or perhaps even move to another part of the country with better career prospects. Or something else. But he didn't have to be a bare bones minimum wage worker for the last 30 years!
There could be a hundred or more scenarios as to why Terry chose not to pursue another path to career success. MasterPo is not going to waste space listing them here. Nor will MasterPo impugning or chastising Terry for his station in life now.
But MasterPo is holding him – and more importantly the thousands, perhaps millions of other Americans – accountable for their choices in their lives. That is, MasterPo finds it hard to accept that in aaaaalllll of the past 30 years Terry (just using him as an example) has been waiting and hoping that somehow, someway, the economy and the environment and the forces that be will align and he will be able to go to law school and have his lawyer career. MasterPo finds it hard to have more than just passing human sympathy for people who are now living for the results of their decisions or lack of decisions.
This is all too familiar. MasterPo has meet soooooo many people (men and women) of all ages, especially younger people, who simply have chosen to do nothing and wait and see. That is a choice. Sometimes it is the correct choice. But at some point it's time to either shit or get off the pot. Either way, if you do nothing then nothing is what you will get!
We have all made choices that ultimately didn't turn out as we had hoped or wanted. Sometimes we choice A and feel we should have chose B instead, or visa-versa.
Sometimes we have a chance to make new choices to try to correct the ones we feel we made poorly. Other times once a decision has been made that's it. The choice has been made and we have to live with the out come, good or bad.
The point of all this being that our lives are what we chose them to be. Sometimes the chose is a blind one, but many times it isn't. You will never get where you want to be if you don't chose to start moving in that direction. You still may never get there but you will get much much closer than just sitting still.