You Do Have a Choice–and it’s Yours

“I didn’t have a choice.” It’s something I hear all the time, particularly in TV shows and on Facebook, as a shrug to the inevitable. Yet the person then makes some sort of choice.

Image from

Image from

We all have choices all the time. Good choices, not-so-good choices, really bad choices. All ours to own. All ours to make, evaluate and love. Or correct. Even if you think, “the other thing isn’t really a choice,” the other choice is a thing to reject, and that makes choosing easier. Without a bad choice, there can’t be a good choice.

Owning your choice is another important step. For the past week, I haven’t walked. Walking conflicted with early-morning classes, and my stalling in getting out of the house. Big mistake. If I don’t walk early, I don’t walk. Life begins to whiz by, calls need to be answered, and walking gets pushed later and later until it’s the time of day where I’m too tired to walk. That’s a choice I make.

Choice is based on priority–what is important, what is on deadline, what needs to be done. The choice you make today may not be the same one as tomorrow. That’s fine. Situations change. But even between a rock and a hard place, there is a choice. Don’t hand your choice over with a shrug and a helpless feeling. Even a bad choice is a learning experience worth living through.

–Quinn McDonald is going back to walking. Her brains seem to be connected to her feet.



17 thoughts on “You Do Have a Choice–and it’s Yours

  1. “I didn’t have a choice.” <– That concept got me into trouble with a proffesor at Uni. I was of the opinion that you always chose and when she tried to prove her point saying that if somebody held you at gun point telling you to sing, you´d sing, I said you could choose not to. Didn´t go well, that answer. I begged to differ but she had the scoring card. No longer bitter about it but I haven´t forgotten it either. Still of the same opinion.

      • Right! We always have a choice–maybe not the ones we want, maybe just awful ones, but we still have a choice. There was the comedic tightwad, Jack Benny, who told the joke of how a mugger came up to him and said, “your money or your life,” and Jack Benny didn’t give an answer fast enough, so the mugger yelled it at him. Jack Benny replied, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!”

    • I love that you KNEW you had a choice. Doesn’t matter that with a gun at your head, you would sing. You still had a choice. Poor analytical thinking on the professor’s part. I’m glad you were smart then and even more so now!

  2. I just wrote this yesterday:
    We have two choices:
    1) We can search for a reason something happened to us and, if we look hard enough, we will find something or someone to blame
    2) We can acknowledge and accept that something happened, learn from it, move on and make a different decision.
    Either way, it’s our choice.

  3. There are a lot of choices we make that don’t feel like choices. Sometimes we’ve created a routine and follow it without much thought even thought every item in it is a choice each time. Some things don’t feel like choices because for whatever reason we simply don’t contemplate some things. Pay for lunch/run away and stiff the restaurant is a choice, even if we don’t spend a single thought on it.

    And thought itself; there’s a curious corollary to choice. Is conscious thought a necessary precursor to choice? Apparently it is not — motile unicellular organisms such as amoebas seem to choose some things; directing their movements toward some things and away from others. So life itself seems to involve choice at the lowest, most basic level. But life…is that even required? Maybe it is not — at the quantum level, some mighty strange things take place, including one of the most basic experiments, which can be relatively easily replicated (although you need some pretty specialized paraphernalia). It measures whether a light is a wave or a particle;. Emit a single photon in the direction of the experiment, and it becomes one or the other, apparently on the basis of which one the experiment is set up to measure. There are other, even weirder quantum effects, some of which offer even stronger suggestion that there is some sort of choice.

    Choice seems to be baked into the matrix — which may actually BE a matrix, as a particular equation suggests. Another way of thinking about it, of course, is that we are [one of?] the ways the universe has become aware of itself, and the choices we make resonate much further than we yet understand.

  4. I’m constantly harping on about choice . . . when I work with children, who have fewer choices and often think they have none, I combine Choice Theory ( and Narrative Therapy ( Of course there’s a little art mixed in there as well!

    My feet and brain are also connected, they both used to move faster however the quality of movement is unaffected by their speed.

  5. Great post. I walk every day – it has to fit in with my schedule wherever I am. I’ve discovered it’s excellent ‘thinking’ time and I find lots of inspiration as I put one foot in front of the other too. My other ‘luxury’ is 15 minutes of creativity as soon as I get out of bed. I do it then because sometimes events overtake the day and I don’t feel as though I’ve ‘missed out’. I think we are on the same wavelength. Thanks for really good posts.

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