Value Good Decisions and You Can't Lose
Every day we make decisions. Mostly small, inconsequential decisions like, “Should I wear the banana yellow shirt or the hot pink one?” (neither, probably) and “Do I need coffee today?” (always, yes). But choices become more difficult as the stakes get higher, don’t they? If you are going on a date with a new guy or girl, you will likely invest more time thinking about which colour of shirt to wear. And if you are trying to eat healthier, you might decide to skip out on that cup of coffee. (I still wouldn’t, personally, but to each their own.)
Now, when morals and values are brought into the picture, choices and decisions become that much trickier.
When I was 19, I played soccer for a university in the U.S., and though we had a great team full of girls, I was miserable. Daily, the coach would degrade and verbally rip some of the girls apart, then expect us all to perform well for him on the field. I started to hate the sport I had loved since I was 6. I decided that I could no longer idly sit by and tolerate his behaviour, so I came back up to Canada, got an education here and never looked back.
For me it was a values decision to leave there. I valued the enjoyment of playing sports more than the bragging rights that came with playing on a high-level team, and I valued being close to my family while I was at school. I made the right decision, but I feel that our driven culture doesn’t always see it that way. We are often pushed into the “never give up, never let anything or anyone get in your way” mentality. Another current example: When you look at the current news unravelling – post-Harvey Weinstein – you read a lot of stories from established women and men in the film industry who have been sexually abused, harassed, or coerced at some point in their careers. We’re all glad they’ve spoken up because people are finally listening to these A-listers, and hopefully behaviours from abusers will change.
But I’m curious to know how many unsuccessful actors and actresses also told their potential employers to take a hike, with the end result costing them their career paths.
They had dreams of being actors in Hollywood, took the steps to learn the necessary skills, and possessed enough talent, but when faced with one or more sexual advances early on in their careers, they took the – perhaps more difficult – path of leaving their dreams behind. In other words, they valued making the right moral decision over chasing the dream.
I’m not saying that every person in Hollywood has achieved success by shady means, and not every “failed” actress can claim the story I just described. But I do feel that our culture puts the wrong kind of pressure on people to "succeed" at what they’re going after in life. The “failed” actress in this scenario is not a failed human being to any extent. She made the best decision, and has possibly crushed it in business since then, or become a full-time mom, or started an acting school in her hometown, or fill-in-the-blank. What we do know is that she walked away from a situation that would have greatly seared her conscience. We should be applauding such people, not scoffing at them.
Money and success are not everything in life. I believe that making good moral choices is more important, and everything will work out in the end.
Some might call it karma; I’d call it something more like divine orchestration. And no, if you’re wondering, I haven’t always made perfect decisions…none of us have or will. But we can take a look at our present choices before us, ask God for wisdom, and go from there. As individuals, let’s start doing what we know is right, deep-down inside. Then, what we’re really looking for will come to us in the best possible way.
As someone wise I know says, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”