In day to day life we are faced with a wide spectrum of options to choose from. While some may be minor choices and seen insignificant, other are major decisions whose repercussions considerably impact our lives. There is consensus that choices have consequences. Nonetheless, the consequences are either constructive or unenthusiastic. Subsequently, when we make choices in life they define and characterize us as individuals for better or for worse. As individuals, we are constantly making decisions that shape our future. Each choice we make can have considerable effect on our lives, impact on society, as well as how others distinguish us. As accentuated by Ken Levine’s quote, “We all make choices but in the end our choices make us”, our thoughts become our decision, which guides our actions, which characterize our habits, which define our character, which becomes our destiny. Making choices encapsulates the characterization of the human personality.
As in the story, “Everybody Use” by Alice Walker, the two daughters (Maggie and Dee) makes different choices, and although they are brought up in the same environment by and by the same parent, they turn out to be different in personality, ideas as well as concerns. Maggie who chooses to be content with her simple life is characterized as unattractive and awkward. On the other hand, Dee’s choice is to have an extravagant life, turns out to be selfish and bold. While Maggie values the sentiments of the family quilts, Dee chooses to display them as a symbol of her heritage. Mama perceives Dee’s yearning for knowledge as a provocation, an arrogant act through which she accentuates her supremacy over her mother and sister (Walker, 1998). The mother’s choice-compels her to deal obstinately with her two different daughters since they have disparate personalities and characters.
In the story, The Necklace authored by Guy de Maupassant, a young woman, Mathilde Loisel, is the main character who is married to a clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction. They live a poor life, and she is portrayed as discontented. One day they are invited to a rich people’s ball and she chooses to buy a new gown. To go with the new gown, Mathilde chooses to borrow an elegant necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. Reaching home, after the ball, Mathilde discovers that she has lost the necklace. In a bid to replace the necklace, Mathilde and her husband uses the husband’s scanty inheritance, and borrows the rest, credits their life away. Although, Mathilde is aware of her true paucity, she chooses to see herself as made of something more precious and for ten years she aids her husband in doing hard labor-intensive chores until the necklace is fully paid. The denouement of the story is highlighted when Mathilde and Madame Forestier meet after ten years and the latter reveals that the diamond necklace she borrowed was fake and made of paste. It turns out that what seemed to be poor form the surface is actually genuinely rich inside and what seemed rich and elegant on the outside is actually very poor.
Throughout history, in as much as mankind has made choices and decisions depicting an immense desire for power and ruthlessness, it has also made choices that demonstrated a palpable will to succeed and overcome adversity. Mankind has an indefatigable need to succeed and heart that can rise out of the ashes of any catastrophe to rebuild itself and take charge of its surroundings. Looking at an event in history, on the 27th of October 1962 a day after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis ceased the then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev made a choice to place medium-range nuclear range missiles in Cuba. This was in a bid to counter the lead taken by the USA in the development and deployment of strategic missiles, especially in Turkey.
In furtherance of this, he packaged the endeavor as a way of protecting Cuba more so after the failed American invasion of Cuba in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs. Plans to set up the installations began in earnest (Khruschev, 1962). American President John F. Kennedy was informed of this in October 16th of 1962 from a reconnaissance of photos. The American President made a choice to have a pacific blockade around Cuba to prevent the transportation of Soviet supplies to continue with the installations. Consequently, on October 26th the Soviet leader made a choice to dismantle the installations and personally ensure their removal in return for the American withdrawal of its missile installation in Turkey. These choices from both leaders shaped the one of the age old ideals of this world; the struggle for political dominance which leads to intense economic as well as military development in a bid to attain global supremacy and the benefits thereof besides shaping the unending dominance and supremacy battles between the Soviet Union and the US.