Do We Really Have Choices?

photo of woman sitting
Photo by Mumtahina Rahman on


“I am not what has happened to me. I am who I choose to become.”- Carl Jung

Choice is an interesting word. In this simple sounding one syllable word there is an implication that it is possible to decide ones’ fate. Possibilities abound within this word. In reading about Carl Jung’s early life it appears that his mother had mental issues which, to say the least, impacted him and his development well into adulthood. We all have our crosses to bear, of course. I do not like to get into a debate regarding who has had it the hardest in this life. Anyone who has ever drawn a breath on God’s earth has suffered in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes, it is the monsters we carry within our own heads and our own souls due to genetic/biological make up and sometimes it is personal interpretation of our environment which impact our ability to make choices. We see our lives through our own unique lens. It has been said that each person is their own planet unto themselves. Social/biological/cultural factors greatly impact a person’s interpretation of the world around them. These factors can impact a person’s ability to make choices.

Am I not what has happened to me?  Do I really have the power to choose what I want to become when the world puts roadblocks up in front of me?

Tragedies and suffering leave deep scars on our souls. To not admit that truth is to be disingenuous with ourselves and others. Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder are directly attributed to a person’s past experiences, therefore, I argue that we are, in fact, what has happened to us. I argue that we are limited by the particular world into which we are born.

This brings me back to the word, choice. Choice. Do we really have a choice? How do some people rise above their life’s circumstances, while others do not? I ponder this question when I analyze my own life, and that of the world as a whole.

To an extent we do have choices. Be aware, however, that not everyone has the same power to make choices. That is where compassion comes in. I choose to show compassion to myself and to others when I consider that we do not have the power to always decide how our lives will be. We are, at times, at the the mercy of circumstances beyond our control.

Show compassion; suspend judgement when looking at other peoples’ lives. Show God’s love, compassion, and mercy. Life hurts. Do something today to make life less hurtful for others. Choose compassion.

Copyright 2020 Jenny W. Andrews

Published by


I am a published poet and short story writer. I have been published in SNHU's the penmen review. is the link where you can find my poetry and a short story. Previously, I self-published my novel "Bully Another Day," "Short Stories and Vignettes", and a poetry book "Spaces between the Pause" on Amazon/Kindle. Due to abysmal interest in my self-publishing venture, I have unpublished those three projects, as well as my poetry book "Life at the End of the Rainbow." However, I plan to be more aggressive in trying to find a traditional publisher for these projects.

2 thoughts on “Do We Really Have Choices?”

Leave a Reply to Kelly Lima Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s