You’ll probably remember Newton’s law of Motion that was taught in gradeschool that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Likewise, the universal law of cause and effect, which is also a predominant teaching in Buddhism, can also explain why we have to make careful choices in almost every aspect of our life as every decision we make could have a significant impact to what we become in the future.
Below are some aspects of our life that will be directly impacted by our life choices.
To obey or to disobey. When we were growing up, we were given rules to follow at home, in school, and in our community. They could be formal or written rules or verbal rules that set the norms. We were also told that disobedience will lead to disciplinary actions or punishments. Say, when you disobey your parents, you get grounded when caught. Or if you disobey your teacher, you are more likely to be called to stand in the front the whole time; or if you ignore traffic rules, you’ll get a ticket on your wind shield and you’re most likely to fine.
Choice between good friends and bad peers. Keeping good friends does not just benefit the social aspect of life. It also contributes to keeping us mentally, emotionally and physically healthy by providing companionship in times of trouble, making us laugh, giving constructive advice (not destructive ones).. etc. Good companies also are the ones who tell us to study well, give us moral support when they think we are aiming for something good, and also inspire and motivate us most of the times. On the other hand, bad peers are ‘good friends in disguise’ who usually drag us into trouble that brings us problems, agonies, and emotional and social downturns.
Choosing your field of study. Simple. You wouldn’t become a doctor if you study mass communication. You wouldn’t become a lawyer if you choose to study computers.
Choosing a spouse. This is among the most critical life decisions you will ever make. It is about living and dealing with the same person everyday, for the rest of your life. Life can be fulfilling and worth living if you choose your life partner well. Imagine you life if you find out that your partner is a drunkard, irresponsible person who would let you work alone! Just imagine how miserable your life would be if you find out that your partner has an addiction problem, or if he/she has violent tendencies. Abandon the thinking that you can change your partner into what you want him/her to be. Most of the time, that kind of thought only happens in an action-love story film.
Life is made up of both major and minor choices. Both can dictate how our life unfolds. As the saying goes: “The end result of your life here on earth will always be the sum total of the choices you made while you were here.”