“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference”
These are the concluding lines of Robert Frost’s poem – The Road not Taken.
We are presented with choices every day of our lives and our decisions lay the blueprint of our future. So, isn’t choosing a fine art? Do we allow our emotions to rule when we make our choices or do we go by logic?
I just finished reading a great book “The Art of Choosing” – by Sheena Iyengar. I found this book very informative and well-researched. It describes in great detail how culture, upbringing etc influence our everyday choices
Some choices that we encounter do not matter too much as we are not in a life/death situation. But in life, we are presented with choices like ‘abortion’, ‘euthanasia’ etc. Here, even consulting experts or our parents is not a solution as even after making such a choice, we may have to live with guilt if we have not given enough thought in our decision.
The senses of children today are bombarded with videos and sound through gadgets like smartphones, tablets, televisions etc. They are overwhelmed with media and do not have a chance to look at books and board games, unless, parents can guide them. So is too much choice necessarily good?
In India arranged marriage is very common. But if you tell that to a foreigner they will show be taken by surprise. Why do we sometimes make choices against our best interests? Or are some choices driven by family, society, culture rather than one’s own interests?
Statistics does show that the success of arranged marriages is way higher than love marriage. One reason is that, love and marriage are not the same. And living together entails a lot of give and take! We also find very happy couples in both type of marriages.
So is it actually advantageous to have more choices. Does it mean we have more freedom if we have more choice or do more choices overwhelm us and make us undecisive?
The course we take can decide the future of our career. The food we eat can decide our health. We have a choice whether to exercise or relax. This exciting book with numerous practical, everyday life examples is a must-read for all of us who face the thrills and tribulations of making choices everyday.
How do you make important choices in your life?
(Sheena Iyengar holds degrees from UPenn, The Wharton School of Business, and Stanford University. She is a professor at Columbia University, and a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award. Her work is regularly cited in periodicals as diverse as Fortune and Time magazines, the NYT and the WSJ, in books such as Blink and The Paradox of Choice.)
A leader lives a life of purpose
Working from dawn to dusk
Serving the community
Living steadfast to ideals
Empowering the populace
Bringing education to them
A leader awakens the masses to
Truth, courage and love
A leader serves the needy
Cares for the orphan
Feeds the hungry and
Clothes the destitute
Breaking bonds of slavery
Ending years of servitude,
A leader frees society from
Fear,poverty and illusion
A leader leaves a legacy
By bringing lasting change
Knowledge breaks caged walls
A nation wakes up to freedom
© copyright skm, 6th July, 2011
Chains bind me
Weighing down on me
A stream of thoughts
Leads me astray
Into a maze
for a way out
To explore my passion
To question, criticize
To rise high
On flights of fancy
Serene and peaceful
Where forms and shapes blend
And the world appears as one
When I look back
There are no chains
Is this dream or reality?
A figment of imagination?
Then all of a sudden
A soft voice
And I close my eyes and listen
To the flight of the free spirit
© copyright skm, 1st June, 2011
From the land of sphinxes and pyramids
A million voices rise
Breaking the shackles of bondage,
Stifled voices and suppressed anger
The veil of ignorance is lifted
A spirited,young, savvy populace
Can no more be fooled
Broken wings and gagged mouths
Empty speeches and hollow promises
People seething in pain
Against years of slavery
The crowds gather at Tahrir
United to the core
Fuelled by a common purpose
Of overthrowing a despot
Bullet shots pierce through the night
Another innocent bystander falls
Truth and freedom will win the fight
Against a merciless ruler
Tanks and guns cannot silence
The brave Egyptian spirit
The cries for freedom proclaim
A new world order
© copyright skm February 6th, 2011