Saturday, June 3, 2023

Come to think of it, everyone must choose

This coming week, our brothers and sisters in South Africa are set to make their way to various polling stations in that country as they are to cast their vote in electing a new leader to head Africa’s largest economy.

Reflecting on this new political dispensation that is about to dawn on us and is bound to have an impact on the region at large, I must say the coming elections in Southern Africa this year did get me thinking about the task that each of us has in life.

Simply put, all of us have the responsibility to choose in life. Probably, to a larger extent, election time brings out and mirrors that responsibility that we are all faced with.

Elections not withstanding, the choices that we have to make each day are astounding to say the least. I find that each day, I am faced with a need to choose what it is that I will wear. I must choose not only the colour of the clothing item to put on, but equally important is how I will wear it. If it is a shirt I must choose whether to wear it tucked or not.

The issue of choice is a living reality and the truth of the matter is that no one can enjoy having the best of both worlds. Even saying this is a choice that I had to come to after much thought.

World-renowned author, Jim Collins, in his book Built To Last, which is an attempt to analyse the success patterns of the worlds leading oldest companies versus their modern day start up peers, in one chapter intimates that successful companies should never have to face the either or task of having to choose to embrace certain values. His motion is that successful companies seek to strike a balance and resort to pursuing both ends of the choices that they have with equal vigor.

For example, a company must choose to be disciplined and value customers equally and against a possible scenario of choosing to either be disciplined or to value customers.

That is all very well, but in the real world it is the choices that we make that mould our individuality. All of us would like to have it all, but sadly life keeps presenting either A, B or C answers and not even once have we ever received an option to pick all.
Remember your multiple choice examinations at high school. Sounds familiar?

We are all inculcated by our family, society, education and social backgrounds to make a choice. That leaves us with the responsibility to make good choices, because we have to live by the choices that we make. So take stock of your life and take charge of the things that are within your reach, your lifestyle, associates and interests. If you are planning on getting married, choose carefully because a wrong choice will cost you a lifetime.

The award-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire, captures the essence of choice, because come to think of it everyone must choose. It is a collection of the right choices that Jamal, one of the main characters in the movie, that eventually leads him to winning the prize-money and, of course, getting the girl!


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