Choice by Fahd AlSaleh

“There is a total of three hundred question in this paper. You have three hours to complete the exam. Please make sure you transfer all your answers correctly to the answer sheet and write your candidate number clearly on the top of all pages. Remember for each question the answers maybe used once, more than once or not at all. You may begin the exam. Good luck” 
So, I guess this is it. It has finally come down to these last few hours. The only thing separating me from obtaining my medical degree are a few pages. A few questions. A few answers. Just a few ticks on paper. Choices.
But will the choices I make today define how good of a doctor I will become? So, is getting an A mean that I will become a better doctor than those who get B or C? I think the main question here is did the examiner pick the right questions to represent the subject? So today I will choose an answer from a set of answers that the examiner chose to place in that order who was appointed by the faculty and chosen from a set of many different individuals all of whom chose to apply to this job all because a certain someone chose to leave their post or they just died or vanished.
I guess we as humans are shaped by our choices. What we choose to do at any given moment defines our present, foretells our future and in turn writes down our past. All the choices I made in my life had brought me here. Sitting at this small desk faced with these questions that’ll shape my future.
Let’s think about it for a second. What is choice? We can say that choice is the power to select one thing over the other. For example, the choice between a red shirt or a blue shirt. Or the choice between eating a burger or lasagne. Or the biggest choice of them all. PlayStation or Xbox? When you come to think about it, it is truly a power to behold. For another example, my brother and I were both raised in the same house, by the same parents and given the same opportunities. But in the end, I chose to become a doctor while he chose to become an engineer. Why you may ask? It is simple. He loves engineering and I simply hate maths. In fact, we are all a product of choices. Our parents at one point in their lives chose to copulate and bring us to this world. Well, unless they were gay for then that would have meant you were adopted. But that would have also meant they chose to adopt you and your biological parents chose to give you up for adoption and prior to all of that they chose to copulate and create you. Anyways, let us not go off topic here. See, choices bind our entire life. Choices are what we live to accomplish. I chose to study medicine and passing the exam will let me achieve my choice. Today, I made a choice of the many millions that I have made, I chose to eat the cold stale pizza from 2 days ago for breakfast. Was the right decision to make before the exam? Of course not. Yet I chose to do so. When you think about what makes us, let’s say, a superior entity to the rest of the animal kingdom is that we can make choices. Right now, I can easily stand up and go the examiner and start bashing his brains out. But I choose not to. Even though I really want to. That’s my choice. For now…
See, A dog cannot really choose who he wants to spend his entire life with. He is bound by instincts and acts upon them when the urges come. The same thing goes with the rest of the animals.
But we, at the very beginning, choose to learn a language, choose our careers, choose our partners, and choose to reproduce. At any stage of these you can choose not to conform. To become the rebel. and just choose to follow another path. Our brains have the capacity to make these choices. Which, when you think about it, is marvellous.
Some may say that we don’t choose what happens to us, we only choose how to react to what has happened. That is true. But what happened to you was the choice of someone else. Which was because of another preceding choice by themselves or another. We live in an intertwined web of choices. The choices made around us affects us as our choices affect those surrounding us.
If you squeeze that brain of yours you’ll find that freedom is simply the ability to make your choice without any bias or confounding factors. So, all that we as humans ever seek to achieve is complete freedom to choose what we want to do. Yet not all choices are right nor humane. What I may choose to do might not be something you want to happen. To go back to the previous example. I may want to bash the examiner’s brain out but he wouldn’t want me to do so. But maybe he is suicidal? You ask. Let us just presume that he still has the will to live. Some will also argue that there is a fraction of us who maybe humans but in reality, have small animal brains. If you were one of them then tough luck brother. So, we chose to put frameworks to guide us and them through the choice making process. Albeit being the law or religion or the many other forms of it like tradition and social conduct. This aims to not let us make the mistake of choosing the wrong choice. That in turn contradicts the very concept of freedom.
Even more interesting…
We as human beings aim to gain complete freedom in our choices yet at the same time we limit what we can choose from. I can say we are quite paradoxical. The human mind is one of the most amazing things that we can find on thi-
“You have five minutes left, please make sure your transfer all your answers correctly and write your candidate number on top of all pages”
Shit….. I guess it’s going to be all Cs then.

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