When I was a young man I wanted to be a professional sports player. As time went on and I started to meet pro sports players I realized they didn’t train any harder than anyone else I knew. Their success was based on luck, right coach at the right time, good genes, right family environment, good timing in physical development etc. In other words, their success was not their own. When I met rich people I also noticed the same thing.
This made me think about choice, these people never chose the be a good at sports or to be rich, it was just circumstances and conditions. When I think about a choice, it seems to be the same. I will choose to study physiotherapy because my Dad was one, I liked sports in school, Australia offers the course, I don’t know what else to do, I understand biology easily. How much of previous conditioning influenced the choice. Was this choice really yours?
So what happens if someone were to steal another person’s money? Do we say that this was not his choice? It was a massive sequence of events, circumstances, and conditioning that brought about this choice.
My thinking on this subject is that we always have a choice to do A or to do B. These choices are highly conditioned until we realize they have been conditioned. Hence, now that I realize I have been making wrong choices I can now become a Buddhist and start making the right or better choices, such as, I will not steal and maybe one day become enlightened; this was a path I chose to walk down.
In Christianity, for example there is always a choice, hence the Garden of Eden story. What does Buddhism/the sutras say in regards to choice?