Kengo Kyogoku borrows about 122,000 yen ($1,035) per month in addition to a scholarship and a part-time job, because his mother can’t afford to pay his college fees at the prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo.
“The amount is huge,” said Kyogoku, a sophomore of communications and computer engineering. “I get depressed when I think about it. I wonder if I would have to pay it all back forever. But I have no choice.”
I have no choice.
The choices may suck, but there's always a choice.
Take the above instance for example. The kid can choose not to attend University. He could pursue a business or take up an apprenticeship and work and learn at the same time.
Similarly, I hear many people say that I am lucky that I can remain jobless for extended periods of time. They have no choice but to stay in the jobs. This once again, is their choice. Even if they have kids. From what I see, most people overspend on unnecessary stuff. And due to this, average monthly expenses are high. Furthermore, most of these people continue to live their normal lives going on holidays and such. All these are choices. I'm not lucky. I made my whole life choices around leaving my job. That's why I have this option. Most of the time when people say they have no choice, it's cos they have made decisions that ended up in low/no options. Also, even after they have no options, they don't want to make changes to give themselves more options.
I once had a conversation with a colleague. She said I was lucky and that she could never be able to retire like me. I said, of course you can, you can don't go on fully packed trips to Europe, drive a smaller car, buy less bags/shoes, eat simplier, etc. And she said, oh I can't do that... Then I kept quiet and smiled.
Then some readers may say. Then what about those really really poor people. Or people who have to take care of parents who are ill. Once again. There are choices. They aren't easy choices. But they have things which can improve their situation. I will explain.
I once was selling financial products. The top guy in the organization came from a poor family. He worked really hard selling financial products. He researched on how to sell well and had selling plans. I didn't agree with how he ran the selling process and neither do I like financial products, although there is a market for it and there are folks who do need it. But I learnt a lot from him.
He said. People don't want easy. People want easier.
People don't want to do things to improve their situation. People HOPE the situation improves so that they don't need to change.
If someone has financial difficulties and want to change their situation, they could sign on civil service. Army, police, air force, etc. They could also go into real estate sales/financial product sales/car sales, etc. There are many jobs which pay very well. Some people may say they don't have selling capabilities. Well then learn. If they can say they have no choice and choose to work in a low paying job. Then similarly, they can say they have no choice and learn new skills so that they can be employed in a higher paying job.
It's the same.
With the current skills, they have no choice but to take up this low paying job.
If you want a higher paying job, you have no choice but to learn a new skill.
The only difference is... With the first option, you don't need to change yourself.
Now I'm not saying I can do it. I do terribly in sales roles. But I have choices. And I can choose not to learn new skills and I don't complain that I have a low paying job and I have no choice but to stay in it.
So whenever I hear someone say they have no choice, I tend to get frustrated. Cos it's so easy to just brush everything off as no choice. Most people have choices. It's HOW to get it done.
Admittedly, there ARE people with no choice.
People who are born handicapped have no choice. They can only choose to live a better life. They don't have a choice in their handicap. Look at Nick Vujicic.
And there are also people who have made decisions which resulted in them having no choice.
Like people who never did any financial planning and ended up with large debts due to medical expenses. And yet they do not take more steps to try to improve their lives.
So for people who say they have no choice, I say, NO. You have a choice. You chose to do what you are doing now. Or your choices have resulted in your situation now.