Insights from the Pavement: Choosing When


On the road, we have nothing but choices. Where will we visit next? What type of cuisine are we in the mood for? Will it be a bus or a train? Should I go and talk to that interesting group of locals?

Regardless of where we find ourselves in the world, we are always going to be faced with a choice. Whether that choice is to go left, or right, or to stay put right where we are, we are indeed making a choice. However, there are a few things in this life that none of us gets to choose.

Not a single person alive or dead got to choose where or when or to whom they were born. We don’t get any say in what language we will learn first or what color we are. We don’t get to choose when our natural lives will end.

The good news is that in between our births and our deaths, most of us will have a world of choices to mull over and mete out before our time comes. We can fill this time with amazing memories, or we can do very little. We can charge after our goals and aspirations, or we can take up space and resources. We can choose to help and to give things back to the world and to the community that supports us, or we can simply consume.

Whatever we choose, we should all be keenly aware that we are indeed choosing one of many options. Because even choosing to do nothing is still a choice. And the best compass for gauging whether or not we are living up to our potential is if, when we look at the lives of others, we see ourselves behind, in the middle or ahead of the game.

Death is our final show. And it arrives to most of us without taking our schedules into consideration. And in the grand scale of geologic time, none of us lives very long. So it can truthfully be said from that perspective that we all can choose right now to act or right now to do nothing.

But we should make no mistake – we are indeed choosing when it will happen.

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