Choices

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

I happened across a video from Dove this morning called “Choose Beautiful”. It’s a simple concept 2 doors, one average and one beautiful and you can choose what to walk through. While this is a commentary on women’s perception of themselves and the message society and media send on what is beautiful and an important message it’s not what moved me. I’m also not really qualified to comment on the experience of women having never been one. This did cause me to have a deeper thought experience.

I am honestly and deeply affected by the concept that we have an amazing choice every day. Individually and as a group. It’s a choice of who we are and what we want to be. We can choose to be the best of what we are or we can lament in pain and suffering. I spent some time looking for a quote I once heard on this, unsuccessfully though. It goes something like this,

Humanity is capable of such great acts of beauty, kindness and love. And at the same time of destruction, indifference and hate. It can be Angels or it can be Demons, the choice lies with each of us.

I’ve recently (in the last 2 years) reconnected with my Catholic faith. What brought me back were 2 central things. One a Pontiff who espouses and lives the ideals I found best in my time as a student in a Jesuit school, the Jesuit ideal of “A man for others”. He preaches and lives what we are all called to do. Live with love and compassion for all we are given and for all those around us. To love them for the imperfection they are, but struggling to be better. He’s a living example of Christ’s love for us and his teachings of our relationship with God and one another.

Second I am fulfilled and driven to live the message Jesus carried as a central tenant of our faith, Matthew 22:36-40:

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

This isn’t easy. We are often frustrated by ourselves, our perception of how others see us, our view on the outcome of situations or the motives of those we interact with. But you’ll notice all those things begin with us. Our choice, our view. Love and the forgiveness that come with it allow us to rise above petty selfishness. I want to be better, so I must strive everyday to choose love. To let go of my hate, to pray for my enemies, to forgive those who hurt me. I must act and not wait for others to act.

This post is already filled with quotes, and I admit I love quotes. They help me remember, so please indulge me for just one more.

The Golden Rule is of no use to you whatsoever unless you realize that it’s your move! – Dr. Frank Crane

I’ve long believed in love and it’s power to make us better individually and as a species. That choice starts with each of us. We have 2 doors everyday, one says Love, it does’t really matter what the other one says. Which door will you choose?

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