Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Choosing Involves Renunciation

Many of us find it difficult to make choices. This is not because we cannot find anything that suits our preference, but precisely for the opposite reason, namely, we find it difficult to exclude the things which will not be involved in our choice. Scholastic philosophers had the dictum: ‘Every choice is also a renunciation.’ This is very true since whenever we choose one thing, we necessarily exclude certain other things.

For this reason we find it hard to choose a vocation, an occupation, a set of friends, a life companion or even a new house or car. The difficulty arises because, in choosing, we have to limit ourselves, and our lonely, insatiable insides rebel against this. Thus we often end up dissipating our creative and affective energies: hanging loose, spreading ourselves too thin, unable to make clear choices and commitments, procrastinating indefinitely, being wishy-washy and generally being unable to make decisions which could give our lives more direction and thus help us to love and work more effectively.(Ronald Rolheiser)

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