Simple Truth- Are options opportunities for anxiety?
The truth is that we are spoilt for choices; people who don’t have choices treasures what they have and in reality end up being happy. Don’t confuse basic necessities for choices.
By Fr Warner D’Souza
The truth is that we are spoilt for choices; people who don’t have choices treasures what they have and in reality end up being happy. Don’t confuse basic necessities for choices. We all need bread to eat and that is a necessity; but when we begin to ask ourselves if we need a brown bread or whole wheat, plain bread or a baguette, brioche or a croissant, then we are spoilt for choice.
I grew up confusing brand names as generic terms and I think you might have done the same. Did you know that zipper and escalator were brand names? Growing up, a Cadbury for me was any sweet treat. So when I wanted something sweet I asked for a Cadbury and received nothing more than a boiled sweet or what is also called a hard candy. With this I was satisfied and my world could not have been better. Today I stand at the duty free store at the airport and can’t figure out where to begin.
While choices and options present us with a world of variety, we must become aware that options also become opportunities for anxiety. It is this unstated reality that really bothers me, for choices and options are paraded as positive values when in reality they are pseudo values.
Let me take this to a whole new dimension of relationships. While I don’t believe that marriage should be taken glibly and without due thought and consideration, I find it a bit off, to say the least, that so many young people continue to be dissatisfied with what they see in others, especially when it comes to marriage.
There is that constant feeling of, “but can I see another person” and “what if the person of my dreams is round the bend”? “What if the man or woman I am dating is just a compromise that I am making in my head”? What’s worse is when we begin to look for a life partner based on professions, physical appearances or social status and we compare our state of life and desire someone better than us but never someone who has a better heart.
If we should look for options and choices then let them be human qualities not merely physical or social ones. But more than that, let us learn to be satisfied to live our lives and our relationships with what we have rather than in the pseudo world of what we could get.
People who often end up cheating on their spouses are not necessarily bad or immoral people; they are often people who desire choices, they want something different because they convince themselves that what they have is not good enough. Variety is not necessarily the spice of life, even more when you bite into a chilly you can’t handle.
I was happy with my Nokia 330 till the android phones came my way. I was happy my android phone till I was told I need to catch up with an Apple. Now they tell me I need to upgrade my phone to a better model or look at the several other brands in the market. It never sees to stop and deep down the desires sparks anxiety.
So I ask myself, “Why do I need these choices when I use my phone for just five simple operations and any phone would do?” Take a step back and evaluate what you have today, both people and things. My guess is that while you want the choices you don’t need them.
(Fr. Warner D'Souza is the priest-in-charge, St. Jude Church, Malad East)
Courtesy:www.pottypadre.com (Used with permission)