One decision can have such a colossal impact. Whether its pertaining to the decision-maker or the people closest to the decision-maker, one single choice can be vital in its own way and even have a positive outcome. Specifically, the three major influences that can positively affect one’s decision is family, music, and personal relationships. Acting as the cornerstone of a choice, family has an everlasting positive effect through its warm environment, the melody of music cultivates passion and coping, and personal relationships form strengthened bonds. In the novel, If I Stay by Gayle Forman and other numerous outside sources, all authors use the positive influences of family, music, and personal relationships to explore a character’s decision.

In the novel, If I Stay, and a modern source, “Impact of Family Demands and Family Strengths and Capabilities on Family Well-being” by J.S. Leske, both authors use the positive impact of family to explore one’s decision. In her novel, Forman uses the everlastingly positive impact of Mia’s family to exhibit how they affect her decision. Although Mia’s family died in a brutal car crash, they still have a major influence on unconscious Mia when she thinks to herself, “There’s something comforting in that. To go down as a family. No one left behind” (Forman 174). During this instance in which Mia, the main character, is in a coma, her family’s continuous comfort is shown when she thinks there is “something comforting” in uniting with her family again. This exemplifies that Mia’s family has impacted her, leaving in imprint of love and warmth in her mind even though they are gone. Mia is using the eternal support, comfort, and positive influence of her family to make a decision, as she debates whether she should stay or go to be with them. Similarly in a modern source written by J.S. Leske, Leske displays the positive influence of family on a patient’s decision when he writes, “Some researchers have found a significant relationship between family coping and beneficial outcomes in patients” (Leske 3). This resembles that family has acted as a positive influence to patient’s decisions in many scenarios across the globe. When Leske acknowledges that “family coping” has “beneficial outcomes in patients,” which stresses that family can positively impact the recovery and well-being of patients, like Mia being influenced by her family. Here, Leske signifies that the relationship between family and patient produces positive results and causes the patient to decide to recover emotionally and physically. Both converging on the idea that family has a positive impact and influence, Forman and Leske emphasize the critical effects of family on a person’s decision, especially a patient’s.

In the novel by Forman and the article, “Music Practice and Participation for Psychological Well-Being: A Review of How Music Influences Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment” by Adam Croom, both authors use music to analyze a character’s decision. Forman illustrates the positive effect of music on Mia’s decision through the cello. In the midst of finalizing her decision to stay or go, Mia describes the cello, her symbol of music, when she thinks, “In comes the cello, like a heart bleeding. And it’s like something inside of me implodes. I am sitting around the breakfast table with my family, drinking hot coffee, laughing at Teddy’s chocolate-chip mustache” (Forman 232). Forman displays the importance and tremendous influence of the cello because it triggers positive memories in Mia’s mind, causing her to bring herself back to reality and out of her coma. This truly highlights the positive impact of music on Mia’s decision to stay or go because the cello reactivated elated emotions within Mia like “laughing” which caused Mia to recognize the joys in life. Through the positive effects of music and Mia’s passion, the cello, Mia is enabled to make a choice because she is reintroduced to feelings of love and happiness. Likewise in an outside source by Adam Croom, Croom exhibits the positive influence of music on someone’s choice when he writes, “Music provided ways for defining and redefining their self-identity, knowing and understanding emotions, and maintaining personal well-being” (Croom 4). Here, the extremely positive influence of music is demonstrated because it has the ability to cause “understanding of emotions” and “maintaining personal well-being.” This connects to Mia’s relationship with the cello because the cello was able to convey blissful emotions and memories to Mia, which allowed her to make the critical decision of staying. This analysis made by Croom not only emphasizes the value of music in making a choice, but it is linked with Mia’s situation with the cello because the cello, being an instrument of music, redefined Mia’s potential and it improved her well-being by influencing her to stay rather than go. By presenting the positive influences of music, such as redefining one’s welfare, Forman and Croom both show how a character’s decision.
In the novel by Forman and the outside source, “The Relationship of the Family Social Environment, Peer Influences, and Peer Relationships to Altruistic Orientation in Chinese Children” by H.K. Ma, both authors use personal relationships to explore a character’s decision. Forman reveals Mia’s concrete relationship with Adam to show the positive influences of personal relationships on a decision when Mia says, “But then I feel Adam’s hand. Not sense it, but feel it…The only way to survive them is to concentrate on Adam’s hand. Grasping mine. And suddenly I just need to hold his hand more than I’ve even needed anything in the world” (Forman 232-233). This demonstrates the power of personal relationships, as Mia relies off of Adam to comfort her and get her through a traumatizing experience that will leave a hole in her heart. Mia believes that her only way to “survive” is “to concentrate on Adam’s hand,” which shows how cemented Mia’s personal relationship is with Adam. The presence of Adam brings Mia out of her coma and back to the real world when Mia thinks, “Not sense it, but feel it,” proving that Mia’s strengthened relationship with Adam influenced her to stay. Similarly, in the outside source by H.K. Ma, Ma displays the positive impact of personal relationships one’s decision when she writes, “In general, the findings suggested that positive family social environment, positive peer, and good peer relationships tend to increase altruistic orientation” (Ma 6). This shows how personal relationships act as a positive factor in influencing one’s decision because “good peer relationships” promote “altruistic orientation.” As altruistic orientation means the action of making moral decisions that benefit oneself, that relates to how Adam influenced Mia into making the beneficial decision of staying. This choice is considered beneficial because it bettered Mia’s welfare as well as the people around her, such as Adam. Because of Adam’s ability to influence Mia to stay, Mia and Adam’s bond is exemplified, as the touch of Adam’s hand caused Mia to access her past joyful memories, and as a result, reawaken from her coma. Forman’s novel and Ma’s article blend the positive effects of personal relationships, such as Adam and Mia’s connection, to explore someone’s decision.

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Forman and all authors of the outside sources highlight the positive influences of family, music, and personal relationships to analyze a character’s decision. The everlasting influence of family, the harmony of music, and the unbreakable ties of personal relationships play astronomic roles in affecting one’s choice, but all of those factors are encompassed by the person making that crucial decision. Choices, most of all important ones, not only impact the one making the decision, but it drastically impacts the people closest to the decision-maker. If people consider choices more carefully, wisely, and morally, even ones of the smallest degree, then society will be impacted positively as a whole.

Works Cited
Croom, Adam M. “Music Practice and Participation for Physcological Well-Being: A Review of How Music Influences Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment.” 19.1 (2014): Sage Publications. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
Leske, J.S. “Impact of Family Demands and Family Strengths and Capabilities on Family Well-Being.” American Journal of Critical Care (1998): n. pag. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
Ma, H.K. “The Relationship of the Family Social Environment, Peer Influences, and Peer Relationships to Altruistic Orientation in Chinese Children.” The Journal of Genetic Psychology (2003): n. pag. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.

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