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Choice book review

First of all I would say I really enjoy and like this book which bring me a lot of self-reflections and a deeper thinking about morality, since it is a part of our life but we rarely think deeply about it. With three short questions being asked in the first page of this book, I saw the questions I always ask myself in my mind, it feels good but is it right? It looks good but is it right? questions like these have been asked like thousand times in everyone’s mind, but still, we rarely bring up this topic to the table, but what the author, Lewis B. Smedes did, is giving out few examples to elaborate his understanding of being morally right or wrong, in which one of them really leave a profound impression on me. With reference from the “Choice” book, “ Two people are waiting for a bus. The first person in line is a slight little lady, maybe ninety pounds or so, about sixty-five years old, carrying her dignity along with a bag full of groceries. The second person is a young man, about eighteen, a big chunk of a fellow, maybe two hundred pounds.The little lady climbs aboard the bus first. She struggles down then aisle and gets about halfway to the back of the bus before she notices that there is only one empty seat in the bus, and it is the centre seat in the rear row. The strapping young man spots the empty seat too, and he bolts for it . He muscles past the elderly lady, elbows her to one side, sends her sprawling over a couple persons’ laps, lettuce and potato rolling down the aisle. She is shocked and breathless, but not seriously injured”,. The young man sits down in the empty seat and looks straight ahead (Smedes, p. 16) . Yet, the fellow passengers see the behaviour of this young man from their occupational or other perspective but not from moral perspective. He did something that nobody should ought to do to another person, especially if she had done no wrong to him, even more so if she was weaker than he was and had no defence (Smedes, p. 17).” From this simple example, we can tell how unfair the elder woman was being treated, meanwhile the passengers have given how the young man was doing wrong from different perspective, judge him aesthetically, legally, medically or even psychologically, however none of them judge him morally. Personally, I agree that this is a example that close to reality, many of us judge people from our own comforted perspective instead of from morality. It is an example from ordinary life that we can understand and remember. With this point of view, author often reminds us the definition of morality and how we define what is morally right and morality wrong, “Morality is all about how we treat people, including ourselves. Treating people unfairly and unlovingly, this is what moral wrong is. Treating people fairy and lovingly, this is what moral right is.”(Smedes, p. 17) The young man was not aesthetically, legally, medically or psychologically wrong but morally wrong in the first place, with being considerate the elder woman has the right to be treated with respect instead of ignorance or being selfish “Morality is about doing things to people that result in their rights being respected and their needs being tended to.” (Smedes, p. 18) From this, it is what I have learnt and re-defined as morality. The way how the author present his idea and example of morality is incredible, clear and easy to understand the theory behind the story, as mentioned above, the author uses examples from our ordinary life that we can understand, in which it helps reader to gain impression of each examples, more easier for readers to acquire the knowledge and apply the idea in their daily lives. Also he introduces the categories of morality by referring to the sort of question that everyone usually asked about, a question we would come upon when dealing with our relationship with others in daily life, is it forgivable? I believe when everyone experimented something bad with people they love, like betrayals, lies or something they did that made us heartbreak, forgive them is never an easy thing to do and decide. Choosing to forgive someone treat us unfairly, meaning we have to transcend every pain and sadness that they brought tot us, I believe there is nothing unforgivable since God forgive all of us with his love in no boundaries, even rape we can forgive, but it is being forgiven by the public due to its evilness, but neglect by your lovers or friends are forgivable due its low seriousness. As what I mentioned above, it is just a sample form his demonstrations in making choices, we have the right to forgive someone, have right to do something morally right or morally wrong, we can make all these choices, be right or wrong, because after all, we are all human beings, we make mistakes and we learn from each of them then we grow, what we chose made who we are nowadays. However, something people make choices base different factors to make themselves feel easier when making choices. One is following the God’s rule, God is divine and intelligent, meanwhile he is also a loving father, who created us and the world, therefore when we choose to live in his world with his rule, we would tend to treat others referencing how God treat people. “So when we choose to live by his intelligent design, we are also choosing what is best for us all in the long run.”(Smedes, p. 21) To mention a real moral dilemma, I would choose to talk about a paralysed patient from Hong Kong, who named Tang Siu-pun, better known as Ah Bun, who died yesterday at age 43, was practising for a gymnastics event in 1991 when he fell badly and injured his spine. The accident left him paralysed from the neck down. In 2003, using a stick held in his mouth to type, he made an appeal to then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, asking for euthanasia to be legalised. “Time has become meaningless for me. I look at the clock ticking second after second every single day and what am I waiting for? It’s just the moment when death comes”,” he wrote in the letter. The request was turned down, but his case lead to widespread debate over issues involving the right to die. (Phila Siu, Stuart Lau, 2012) If I were the chief executive, I would follow the will of Ah Bun, to let him euthanise. Yet, is my choice morally right or morally wrong? I do not know. With reference from the Bible of how it says about euthanise, it does not specifically discuss euthanasia, but what it does say about life and death offers a balanced perspective. Causing death is unacceptable, but there is no requirement to go to desperate lengths to prolong life during the dying process. The Bible identifies God as our Creator, “the source of life.” (Psalm 36:9; Acts 17:28) In God’s eyes, life is very precious. For this reason, God condemns both taking the life of another and taking one’s own life. (Exodus 20:13; 1 John 3: 15) Additionally, the Bible indicates that we should take reasonable precautions to protect our own life and the lives of others. (Deuteronomy 22:8) Clearly, God wants us to value the gift of life. But what if the person is terminally ill, just like Ah Bun? Still, The Bible does not condone taking someone’s life even when the person is facing an imminent and unavoidable death. The example of King Saul of Israel supports this. When he was mortally wounded in battle, he asked his attendant to help end his life. (1 Samuel 31: 3, 4) Saul’s attendant refused. However, another man later falsely claimed to have fulfilled Saul’s wish. This man was condemned as bloodguilty by David —a person who reflected God’s thinking on the matter. (2 Samuel 1: 6- 16) From bible aspect, euthanasia is not supported because God gave us right to live and we are not supposed to take it out by ourselves, he has the final say over death, euthanasia and assisted suicide are human being’s attempts to seize that authority from God. Ecclesiastes 7:17 ”Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time? ” It declares that we either are stupid or vicious to kill ourselves, what should we do is follow his sacred path and cherish the energy, light and life he gave us. Also, Genesis 9:6 ”Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” When you are hurting yourself, you are making him sad and painful as well, in that he treasures us as his sons and daughters and bears our sins for our soul and physical health. More importantly, Exodus 20:13 ”You shall not murder.” As God has set our length of days, we should preserve our time and make good use of it for him. If you try to end your life, you are wasting it and committing murder, which is complete and intentional violation to Him. My assessment of spirituality and its impact on my profession changed by relying more on myself instead of others, including God, family and friends, but this does not mean I am giving up my faith in God or in my family. I just want to walk out a step from my comfort zone, not asking for help every single time when I am stuck in problems but face it on myself first instead, although I will make mistakes when making choices, I believe each mistake will become the lesson for me to learn, I will not regret what mistakes I would make, because what I choose made what I am in this moment and also, in the future. Furthermore, base on every choices and mistake we made, we would learn what is morally right to do and what is morally wrong and avoid to do it, this is important for our development of mind and body, people must go through different kind of situation to acquire their knowledge and skills, get out of their own world and expand their view of diverse things.

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