Everyone has that point in his/her life when he/she has to decide what is next for them. When graduating high school, it is one’s decision to go off to college, the military, or straight to work. After college, when a job is presented in another state or country, and they have to decide to take the job or not, what will they decide? Everyone will be faced with these types of decisions, some several times in their lives. What factors does one take into consideration when deciding when to make one decision? Who does one take advice from and who does one avoid when make a decision?
And what is the most important thing to do when making a decision? “Three Questions” by Leo Tolstoy is a short story about a king who wanted to know the answers three questions; when, who, and what? How does “Three Questions” depict the decisions we all face in our lives today? Throughout one’s life, one may be faced with numerous road blocks. The decision to go left or right can alter his/her life. In “Three Questions”, the King thought if he always knew the right time to begin everything, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.
When one is is preparing to make an important decision like leaving their current job to go back to college, in hopes of bettering their career, or to stay and potentially advance in their current job, one must take into consideration timing. In making this choice, there are many factors that one has to take into consideration. If a person is deciding to go back to school, he may need to weigh the pros and cons, and he does this by asking himself important questions. At what point in time would I be able to go back to school? How would going back to school benefit him/her now rather than waiting until further down the road?
If an individual wants to go back to school full time and maintain his/her current career it may be impossible to achieve both. He/she may hold out on making such a decision for a long time, depending on which option would be best for that person. The King in the story had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to any one who would teach him what was the right time for every action. In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance, a table of days, months and years, and must live strictly according to it.
Only then, they could everything be done at its proper time. Others said it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action; but, not letting oneself be absorbed in idle pastimes, one should always attend to all that was going on, and then do what was most needful. Others, again, said that however attentive the King might be to what was going on, it was impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action, but that he should have a Council of wise men, who would help him to fix the proper time for everything.
Unhappy with the answers he had gotten from his followers, The Kings went to see the Hermit; a wise man from surrounding village. The people of his kingdom answered this question very vaguely because it was always about the future. After his adventure visiting the Hermit in seek of a wise answer, the question was answered simply and symbolically by his experience there. When the King got to the Hermits house, he decided to help him to dig the flowerbeds the Hermit was digging. It lasted a couple of hours until he asked the Hermit for the second time for the answer to his question.
The first time he asked, the Hermit ignored him and kept digging the flowerbeds. “The most important time was the time you were digging in the beds”, said the Hermit. The best time is now because he had control and power over what was happening in the present. When one is trying to decide when is the best time to put a decision into action, the best time is now. Now, because you do not know what the future holds, you may never have the opportunity to revisit that decision again later in life. Once he/she decides “the best time to make a decision” and has weighed the pros and cons, he sets off on his journey to achieve that goal.
When making the decision to go back to school or not, one must consider whom are the best people to take advice from. “The most important person is always the person you are with, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? ” said the Hermit. The hermit was the most important person because if the Hermit hadn’t emitted his obvious incapacity to keep working when the King appeared, the King would not have helped him finish his work. If the Hermit was not there, in his house at that time, the King would of returned and been killed.
He/she may have friends or acquaintances that have traveled both roads and could advise their decision making. When trying to make a decision he/she could both benefit and burden from whose advise they take because outsiders may not take into consideration the current responsibilities holding them back. When one is in search of advise, he/she should listen to the one closets to them; who are directly effected and who could potentially help the achieve their goal. When one is sitting on a decision, he/she may wants to know what is the most important thing to do when making this decision.
The “Three Questions” shows that the most important thing is to care and make the people around you happy. When the King was visiting the Hermit, the first thing he saw was the Hermit digging flowerbeds in his garden with his own hands and no help. Since he was old, the King pitied him and made the Hermit rest while he dug the flowerbeds. What the King did not know was that a man that was sent to kill him was waiting for the King to return to his home from the Hermits house to do a surprise attack.
But as the King never returned because he was helping the Hermit, the man left. “The most important pursuit was to help me”, said the hermit. If the King had not decided to help the Hermit, he would have returned early and the man would have still been waiting to kill him. If he would not have cared about the Hermits age, he would have died or ended up severely injured. The most important thing to do at all times is to make life worth living, if making the decision of going back to school is feasible for that person, he/she should do it.
It is each individual’s responsibility to make his/her life worth living. Every person is in control of ones own future but also has an impact to those around them. Therefore, it should be the responsibility of every individual to help those around them, and in doing that, he/she can help oneself. Whether or not someone has been faced with such an important and potentially life changing decision yet, they will be. Maybe one, two, possibly 100 decisions will be presented to them over the course of their life.
If and when that opportunity finally presents itself, one needs to take into consideration how this one decision can benefit or hurt him and truly do what he believes is best for him. What there is to learn from “Three Questions” is that the best time to do each thing, is when the task is first presented. Then, one will not need to worry about procrastination. The most important people to work with are those who are wiser than oneself. Then he/she will strive to obtain intelligence to their level. Surrounding him/herself with others who are not motivated to learn will not be beneficial to him/her.
The most important thing to to do at all times is to be the best one can possibly be in every aspect of life. This includes in ones work, social, and personal life.
Bouchard, J. (2008). Literary Contexts in Stories: Leo Tolstoy “Three Questions”. Literary Contexts in Stories: Leo Tolstoy’s ‘Three Questions’, 1. George, W. W. (1991). Tolstoy’s Three Questions. Explicator, 49(4), 230. Victor Anonymous . (n. d. ). Dark Winner. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from http://www. darkwinner. com/literature/questionsAnalysis. html..