Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"The Choice"

For those of you interested in learning more about the study on happiness referenced in my last post, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4086092&page=1

As for "The Choice", it's the title of my new book by Nicholas Sparks. This is my first Nicholas Sparks read and I am enjoying it so far. When I think of Nicholas Sparks I think of sappy love stories like the Notebook. Although I enjoyed the movie, it wasn't my favorite. I decided to read "The Choice" because I heard it was good and because I decided that "don't knock it 'til you try it" phrase only works when you do actually try something and so far - I'm not disappointed.

While I was reading last night, one paragraph really stood out to me. It's on page 111 and says, "It always amazes me that once you cut through the clutter, people are pretty much the same. Especially through adolescence and early adulthood. For the most part, people go through the same experiences and think the same things, but somehow no one ever escapes the belief that his experience in unique in every conceivable way." I think this statement because it reminds me of the title of my blog and also because I agree with it. I know I've mentioned this before, but really, this is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I know that we are different because we have different personalities, we respond to situations differently and communicate differently, but when all that is worn down and stripped away - we are relatively the same. Not to assume anything and let me know if you disagree, but I would dare to say that everyone is striving for success in their lives. Whether or not success looks the same to me and you is irrelevant. We are both working towards something we feel is important. It requires hard work and sacrifice. We all have wants and needs. And just like success, my wants and needs look different from yours but they are still wants and needs. We all have goals. If your goal is to make it to the end of the day or to become the President - they are goals. We all have relationships: good and not so good. What else? What else do we all have that makes us the same and do you agree that once all the 'differences are stripped away', we really are the same?


Johnson-n-Johnson said...

hmmm....i'm inclined to disagree with the sentiment that when the differences are stripped away, we are all the same. If we strip everything away, I think we would find what we found in the world before--a group of beings who differ in their levels of valiance. I think spiritually speaking, no matter what, we are all children of God, a commonality that everyone shares, but I think when all is stripped away, we are all very different. We might have similar experiences, but that is a societal factor--not something that makes us all the same. I think most of the people we probably know want to be successful, but there are plenty of people who are satisfied with mediocrity. anyways....i have a lot to say on this subject....but that will be all for now!

K. Elizabeth said...

Tell me more because I agree with what you are saying too. It's hard to explain what I mean. I guess in some sense I am trying to justify my own self or maybe just trying to see people for who they are. I don't know, but I could talk about forever too - so keep sharing.

Kristen said...

Generally speaking I agree with the point I think you are trying to make: human beings have more in common than we have in differences. I think that is hugely important in the world, and even more important in the Church, if we are to become truly unified. People across the U.S. and world still tend to live in neighborhoods with their own "kind" which usually means the same race, socioeconomic status, etc., or, at least form close friendships with those that they perceive are "like" them. If people realized that once certain things were stripped away, they were more similar than different, the world, my world, even, would be much different.

I think I would disagree with the idea that people are all striving for success---I think that motivations vary between people, because people have a variety of needs and our motivations are typically based on our needs, well, and maybe a need/desire combination.

I think that a common denominator among all of us is that at our very core, we are all Good. Our deepest desires, the deepest parts of ourselves, are pure. I might even go out on a limb and say that criminals or those whose behavior might suggest otherwise, are also Good. They obviously have a twisted or distorted way of expressing it---but at their heart I think that is true. And it comes from the divine nature.

But back to our differences. I have thought a lot about this since getting married, because at times I feel like my husband and I are the two most opposite people on the planet!! Our motivations and desires are sometimes vastly different, depending on what it is. I think that when it comes to differences in people, what may be at the heart of the matter is the scariness, vulnerability, hard work, and commitment it takes to get to a point where you feel like you are more similar than different.

In other words, building relationships may strip away the superficial differences people have, expose others, etc., but in the end, the goal is to come to love and care for that person/other people the same way you would if you were exactly the same in all the superficial ways.

K. Elizabeth said...

Thanks Kristen. What you said got me thinking even more, because I agree. At the very heart of all of us, we are good.