The tragedy of commitment


Salon Staff
July 12, 2002 11:13PM (UTC)

"Whoever wants something great must be able to limit himself."
-- Wolfgang von Goethe

Sometimes you are paralyzed with indecision. You can't bring yourself to choose any one future because to choose one is to forsake the promise of all others. Yet not choosing is making you crazy. In such a state, drastic action is necessary. You must choose -- and then one by one, murder all the futures you passed over. Like a faithful companion you've cherished all through your youth, you must lead each future back behind the shed, and even if it looks up at you with those big eyes, dreamy with possibility, you must put the cold muzzle to its head and pull the trigger. You must do it, again and again, for each future that competes for the attentions of your heart. Only then are you ready for commitment. Only then can you pursue the one thing that will, in time and after much mourning, become all things to you.

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The future is full of possibilities that I must shoot in the head.

Reprinted with permission from "Daily Afflictions" by Andrew Boyd, published by W.W. Norton. To order a copy, click here.


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