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The Problem of Too Many Paths
POLITICS
SCIENCE
ETHICS
SOCIETY
HUMAN
CULTURE
Choosing a path will always be problematical because it makes us feel liable even for that which we cannot control. Those who have only one option never need to doubt.

One could assume that the freedom of choice is a prerequisite for happiness. Only once we ourselves choose our path out of all paths possible can we truly be happy with our direction. But does it mean that the more options we have, the higher the chances of us being happy? Or is it the opposite?

As soon as you are old enough to make your own decisions, you find yourself standing at a crossroads and you are supposed to choose. It is dawn and you need to arrive somewhere before the sun sets. You need to choose before really knowing where you want to get to and without knowing where the path may take you. You pick one randomly and call it instinct. You hope it leads somewhere and there is not a massive wooden log blocking the way somewhere far down the path. The further you go, the more you ask yourself: Should I have chosen the other one?

The doubt creeps into your mind as you stumble on the rocky pathway and occasionally twist your ankle. As the sun is passing its zenith, you ask yourself if you should turn around and go back where you started, but you are not sure if there is time for that. The night is coming and you are far down the road which has been monotonous so far. Is there anything beyond the next turn? Are you going to give up right on the border of your destination? If you return and choose a different path, it may be even worse than this one and you will regret your decision, but right now you are thinking about the things you might have missed rather than the things you will miss. Before you have a chance to solve this dilemma, you come to another point where the road diverges. Your doubt grows exponentially.

You start to realize that you are lost and the map you had borrowed from someone else is completely useless. You start panicking and running around aimlessly. You remember the beautiful butterfly you passed earlier on your way which you intended to revisit, but now you realize that he is probably gone and there is no way to go back. You can follow your own footsteps reversely, but you cannot erase them and the butterfly is most probably already gone. You realize that it isn't you who shapes the path, it is the path that is shaping you. Once you come to terms with the fact that you cannot control the path you are walking on, you realize that the only thing left for you to do to be happy is to learn to like the nature you are walking through.

It is so much easier to do once you stop encountering crossroads, because once you have the comfort of certainty that there is nothing better you can do at the moment than to go forward. You are relieved by the lack of freedom which deprives you of the liability for the dangers and discomfort which might await you further down the path, but more importantly, you don't need to speculate about the beauties and comfort you might have found had you gone the other way.

In the end, you will hopefully forget about all the paths you have not taken and you will not wonder where they might have lead you. There will be only one way left for you. You will only care about seeing the sun in its last moments as long as you can before it sinks down over the horizon. And you can watch that from any path if you find yourself a high ground.

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Published: 4 months ago
Language: English
Unique readers: 27
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