The Choice is Ours

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EL 266

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor" (Walden chapter 2)

I have heard the first quote many, many times throughout my life, and each time it seems to have a different meaning. In this great world, man has been given the ultimate choice of where he will end up. That is what keeps us going, right? I mean, why else would we be going to college? Working at our jobs? Doing anything else that pushes us forward? We work hard in high school to get into a good college, then we work hard in college to get a good job, then we work hard at that job to get a raise, and the list goes on. Throughout each season in our life, we are able to reach higher levels of pay, education, and the quality of life we life. But is that it?

No, I think Thoreau follows up on this quote in chapter 4 of Walden when he says, "Will you be a reader, a student merely, or a seer? Read your fate, see what is before you, and walk on into futurity."  We have the choice to determine not only what we do but who we are. It is up to us to be all that we can be.  I don't believe that we were fated to become something.  The choice is up to us. If fate were an issue, I would most definitely NOT be at Seton Hill. Life has a way of putting blocks in our way, making things difficult, but it us up to us to make it happen.  We can be merely students, passively pursuing our academics, or we can elevate our lives by our own choice. Hard work and conscious effort go a long way, and I am glad that Thoreau agrees.

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