by Nwabisa Moyo
“Do you want a KitKat or a Bar One, Ntombi?”, her mother asks. “Uhmm, I don’t know. A Bar One I guess, it’s all the same”, replies Ntombi.
As a child, I was always told to make the right decisions, choose the right things, go to the right places, and choose the right friends. Emphasis was always placed on making the right choice. As I grew older and wiser, I realised that this was not just an exaggeration, but it was for the best. What I choose to do today will impact the person I become tomorrow, the sister I will be to my siblings, the friend I will be and eventually the mother and grandmother I will become in the distant future.
Lately, my mind has been set on what could have happened, had I chosen to wake up a minute later, or chosen to stay a little longer at a party. Would I have encountered a life-changing moment? Would I have met someone that could have steered my life in the right direction? Would I have seen something that would change my perspective on life? No one knows, simply because I did not choose that path.
The idea of being intentional about your decisions was one that I knew very well, but as a concept, a theory, but not a principle of life. As a child, I always leaned on the idea that problems can be solved, if they arise because of a bad decision. As a young woman, I have discovered that that idea was completely off. It was not one that anyone can and should live by. It is chaotic and misleading, because going down the wrong path is not worth it at all, even if it will lead you to the right one, because the experience, time and energy that was spent in the wrong path can never be regained. It is spilt milk.
My view of making decisions intentionally, initially struck me as something that occurs in serious situations, like when you have to choose the career that you will spend your life in, or when you have to choose who you will marry. Over the years, I have learnt that it also includes the simple things like choosing between a KitKat and a Bar One, the seat next to the door in your lecture room and the one in the middle of the front row. By choosing a KitKat over a Bar One, you are intentionally contributing to a greater revenue that KitKat will receive, and you are consuming 95 calories, as opposed to 255 calories that are found in a 55g Bar-one. As simple as this decision sounds, it has a great impact on your life, even if you do not see it in the moment when you decide to purchase one of these bars.
One could also apply the same approach when it comes to choosing your seat in a lecture hall. Every seat is the same because they are all made from the same material and they all rotate in the same manner, right? This may be true in some cases but choosing where you sit in a lecture hall may be the shift you need in your life. This may lead to the beginning of a life-long friendship, or to you meeting someone that will move you from a 30% average to a 90% average in a few months. To the Ntombi’s reading this, is it all still the same?
Although simple decisions may seem as such, simple, are they really simple, or do we see them as having less of an impact in our lives than others? Everything is a decision, and if you do, by any chance, take any thing from this, it should be that you should treat every thing as a building block of your life, no matter how small it is. Because even the smallest screw on the Eiffel Tower is playing a part in holding it together.