The Sum Total of Our Choices

“We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. it is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.”

— Professor Levy played by Martin S. Bergmann, a New York University clinical professor in psychology, in the movie Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) by Woody Allen.

(Via QuoteVadis)

4 Comments leave a comment below

  1. That guy [Dr. Bergmann] is really amazing. More of him can be found as interviews, part of the Adam Curtis’ documentary The Century of the Self.

  2. I have been thinking about perseverance, choices and choosing to find joy in the face of an often unfair world.. Felt like fate when I saw this on your site today! A beautiful thought. Thank you for posting it :)

  3. I strongly disagree with the idea that we are the sum total of our choices. We are SO MUCH MORE than that! But I do agree that our capacity to give and receive love does give meaning to creation. Thanks for posting.

  4. I just finished watching Crimes and Misdemeanors for the Nth time. This quote is profound.