A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story
Posted on 10/31/2014 @ 10:00 AM
Every moment of our life is a choice we make.
Some choices are conscious: decisions that we are actively making. Choices where you spend time weighing all of the pros and cons to actively choose the best possibility - like deciding what to wear today, deciding whether to order the Oreo or strawberry banana milkshake at Johnny Rockets, or deciding what to do with the rest of your life.
Other choices are subconscious, where we don’t even think that we have power or control over what we are doing - like choosing to get out of bed in the morning, choosing to work hard in school, choosing to make a positive impact on the people around us. We make these choices without even taking a minute to realize they are happening.
I’ve thought a lot about choices and decisions recently. I spent this past weekend with Rocky Mountain Region at their Fall Convention, where the theme was Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, and I was very impressed with the choices made to plan and participate throughout the weekend.
It started Friday evening with a Pink Shabbat to raise awareness for breast cancer. Almost every Aleph and B’nai B’rith Girl chose to deck themselves out in Pink Shabbat attire to join in the cause. People decided to share their personal experiences with breast cancer, and I watched as a communal bond was formed. It continued through RMR’s Annual Mr. AZA Pageant, as the convention body chose to support their fellow Alephs in strutting their stuff, and I was proud of my co, Sam Perlen, for placing 2nd (I guess you can’t win ‘em all).
It continued Saturday afternoon when Sam and I got to run our first roadshow program together. We’ve been planning programs to be able to run on visits, and we created a Brotherhood/Sisterhood program to run on visits when we are together. The program requires getting into partners with someone you don’t know in order to spend time truly getting to know someone new. We figured teens would choose to go with their friends, but were surprised when the participants went out of their way to pick a partner they really did not know in order to gain the most out of the program. The choice to participate and fully engage themselves in the program resulted in a meaningful experience each time we ran it.
But it was confirmed during BBG separates that evening. This separates broke the mold of crying and candles (okay there were electronic tealights, but still), and it was an evening where everything depended on the choices we make. We were given a situation and had two paths which we could take. Once we decided what we wanted to do, we divided into smaller groups and kept playing out the situation. At one point, we sat in a circle and reflected on a tough decision each individual had made up until now. What was mine, you ask? The choice that led me here, writing this blog post about this crazy adventure of a year. I realized that we are afraid of making decisions because choice means change. But, the wise words of Harvey Mackay should guide us all towards how we make decisions: "If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just said it would be worth it."
Thank you, RMR, for reminding me that existence is standing at a fork in the road, while living is choosing what path to take. And, that the best choice of all is the choice of adventure.
Later in the week, I started thinking more about the choices we make. I'm a strong believer in the idea that "either you run the day or the day runs you." We may not be able to control everything that happens to us, but we are able to choose how we react to life at it's most trying times. Too often, we let the day run us. We get frustrated, knocked down, and don't want to get back up until a new day comes and it's our turn to run it. But, choosing to run our days is the best way to run our lives. Flying to Boston Wednesday, I was exhausted and frustrated, my backpack feeling heavier than ever, and I started to let the day do the running, which never feels good. So, I sat on the plane and realized that it was my turn to take control of how the day turned out. Sure, it started a little rough, but the choice was mine whether I wanted to enjoy it or not. So I lost myself in Taylor Swift's new album (recently downloaded to my iPod), closed my eyes, and started to run my day.
We don't have a say in everything that happens in this world, but we do have a say in how it affects us. After an attack on my country's security last week, this is how we chose to react:
Submitted with undying love for choices, chances, adventures, running our days, and refusing to fall,
Amanda Eliza Lauren Freedman 70th International N'siah