If I Stay: Determining Aspects of Transformative Decisions
People make choices, and choices make people. Society endeavors to make ethical decisions each day, respectful to their values and disposition. Each person's life choices are made based on the aspects that hold value to them or ethics that determine who they are or strive to be. One's decisions in life, whether insubstantial or transformative, are dependent on their life experiences and persona. When people have to make a decision, they go through a set process of thinking and considering to make the suitable choice that involves beneficial consequences. Although some may not realize it, when faced with a life altering decision, it is essential for people to deeply consider their life experiences, values, and character, unlike other inconsequential decisions in life. In the novel If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and modern sources, the authors explore ethical, transformative decisions and what aspects determine them.
In the novel If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, and the text Primer on Decision Making: How Decisions Happen, by James March, the authors emphasize the importance of consequences for family when the main character, Mia, or a common decision maker are in the situation to make an effective decision. The impact of consequences on one's life plays an eminent role in the decision making, although it may be part of the results. When making a transformative choice, considering the outcomes and how they affect family is essential. In most people's lives, family is a highly valued part and is often contemplated when making choices. The repercussions of a resolution can affect not only the decision maker, but also the people and environment around. The text Primer on Decision Making: How Decisions Happen, by James March shows that as a part of the decision making process, "Decision makers are assumed to choose amongst alternatives on the basis of their expected consequences, but those consequences are not known with certainty" (March 5). Decisions ought to be made while keeping the ramifications in mind, good and bad. Despite the fact that not all consequences may be certain to happen, each one must be viewed as possible. Applying this context to the novel If I Stay, the main character, Mia, is faced with a life-changing decision and ultimately needs to choose whether to live or die. Mia contemplates each choice and how they effect her family when she thinks, "How am I supposed to decide this? How can I possibly stay without Mom and Dad? How can I leave without Teddy? Or Adam?" (Forman 88). During a car accident, Mia lost both her parents, and will soon lose her brother. She realizes that she is now only left with her boyfriend, Adam, her best friend, Kim, and her grandparents. Although she has not always felt like the best match for her family, her family is one of the most important Mia considers the consequences of waking up from her coma or letting go and joining her family. Family plays a prominent role in Mia's decision to stay or go. After considering one's consequences for a decision, family can come into play when making a substantial decision.
Throughout the novel If I Stay, Mia's compelling love that is shared with her boyfriend, Adam, is strained, showing what effect love has on a life-or-death situation, as displayed in the article "The Concept of Love in Lithuanian Folklore and Mythology" by Daiva Seskauskaite. Love is a strong emotion that has an influential impact on people's lives. Love can be a contributing factor to one's actions, and can lead to repercussions, positively or negatively. This emotion can affect people's behavior, how they think, and how they feel each day. One can feel love for another incredibly strongly that they would be willing to give up anything for it, as shown by "The Concept of Love in Lithuanian Folklore and Mythology," by Daiva Seskauskaite, when stated, "Sometimes love is endless and it makes a loving man die of pain and sorrow" (Seskauskaite 104). A person can fall in love with another and die for them, if it is the last thing he/she does. As shown, although love may be displayed as a happy and emotional feeling, it can cause death and tragic events. Once a person feels endless love for another, it is uncertain what someone may do to preserve that love. Connecting to the Gayle Forman's novel If I Stay, Adam is an influential part of Mia's life and is part of Mia's consideration as she makes her decision. While Mia is still in a coma, Adam tells her, "'Stay'. With that one word, Adam's voice catches, but he swallows the emotion and pushes forward. 'There's no word for what happened to you. There's no good side of it. But there is something to live for'" (Forman 230). Although they have been through several rough patches and have their differences, Adam and Mia's love is unconditional. During this time or tragedy does Adam realize how much Mia really means to him, while Mia is torn between living without Adam or living without her parents. Thus, love has a crucial place in one's life, and just as life transforms, affection impacts one's feelings, thoughts, and choices, often altering life-changing decisions.
In Gayle Forman's If I Stay and the text Making Decisions That Matter: How People Face Important Life Choices, by Kathleen Galotti, both authors highlight the values in one's life and how success in careers, being one of the values, affect a person's ethical decisions in life. In society, each person's values differ. Values are the ethics or moral codes that identify one's aspects in life that are most important to them. For instance, one's values may consist of family, friends, work, beliefs, and religion. To any person, most of these values determine who they are how they think, and how they act, as shown by the text Making Decisions That Matter: How People Face Important Life Choices by Kathleen Galotti, "One theoretical model of decision making, image theory, focuses heavily on decision maker's goals, principles, and values as driving decision making" (Galotti 19). One's career is an eminent value that is essentially a base to success. A person's job or career hold incredible value, and is always to be evaluated when making a life altering decision. One can be exceptional at their job and find it to be a part of who they are, especially when they have great success. Similar to any other decision maker, Mia, in the novel If I Stay, assesses several of her values, including her possibly successful music education and career. Mia has always found comfort in classical music as she is an accomplished celloist. She has been accepted at one of the most renowned musical schools, with a successful path ahead of her. But, Mia has to decide how influential her career and education may be while considering other factors. The importance of music in her life is shown when Kim states, "'I don’t know but it seems just like your cello is part of who you are. I can't imagine you without that thing between your legs'" (Forman 128). Playing the cello has become part of who Mia is and her musical experience in life has brought her success, the one thing she has always dreamed of. However, in her current situation, she is uncertain how much she is willing to give up to continue her exceptional talents in education. Her career and education are essential values that Mia has to contemplate while facing the impossibly seeming choice to stay or go. Therefore, one's success and career can play an eminent role in their life, and can possibly affect their process of determining a moral decision and what its advantages and disadvantages are.
In the novel If I Stay, by Gayle Forman and modern sources, the importance of ethical decisions are emphasized and the authors analyze the aspects that determine the decision-making process for ethical and transformative choices. In society, each person's goal is to make a moral decision that stays true to their ethics, values, and disposition. The aspects of each choice in decisions are based substantially on their life, displaying how people's choices in life shape who they are and their future. Life determining decisions are ones that can change one's perceptions and perspectives in life. The threat of death can often lead to evaluating life and what it means to sacrifice some values for others in one's life. The true value of morals and ethics in life are tested when one is put in a critical plight. However, in certain circumstances, life may unanticipatedly seem as a threat if the value of the aspects given up are more substantial than the ones kept. Life-or-death situations can incredibly change one's views on society, and most importantly, the value of life.