This is the unresolved question: What price do I pay for where I choose to stand? –Diana Trilling
In his 1962 essay, Greenleaf writes:
…this matter of choice. Most of us live our lives the way we want to and use our time the way we want to and choose deliberately the moral ground on which we will stand. Often we are terribly busy, sometimes compulsively busy. But this too is a matter of choice.
…We largely choose to spend time as we do. The time that we have that earlier people did not have…this time, what are we doing with it? We should have more choices than our forebearers; yet we seem to have fewer. We should have more time and we seem to have less.
Could it be that time has been absorbed by activities that are designed to waste time? Or, could it be that we are sometimes caught up in the speed of our culture, that we are devoting too much time to reacting to things that are pushed at us and not enough to paths of deliberate conscious choices? Do we run our own lives, or does our environment run them for us? It is a matter of choice. To the extent that we let external forces run our lives, to that extent we are living our lives by default.
…There is one thing in common among people who have made resolute choices that resulted in a constructive influence upon their times: something happened to them when they were young. They acquired a view of their own uniqueness, they grappled with the questions: Who am I? Where am I? Why am I here?
The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice. –George Eliot