Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Choices

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before. - Mae West

Faced with two equally objectionable alternatives, we can’t say that we don’t have a choice, can we? We still do. And even without any options left, we still have a choice. We can always choose not to choose.

We always complain that we don’t have any choice. But when we think about it, sometimes, having a lot of options just makes life complicated. It’s like when we go to a grocery store and we’re faced with too many choices--three aisles of different brands, mixes, flavors, calorie counts-- for a single item that we cannot decide what to choose anymore. Bombarded with all sorts of stuff from every corner, shelf and counter across the room, all intended to entice our senses, we sometimes forget what we went there for. And at times the thing we have in mind and are looking for--seemingly hidden among all those others options that we don’t really need—we just can’t find anymore. There are just too many choices!

The sprawl of options, supposed to be liberating and enabling, becomes claustrophobic. And because of it, we not only fail to make the right or the best decision. We simply do not make any decision at all until each of our options trickle away and we are left with nothing. Not making a decision for fear of making the wrong one can turn out to be the worst mistake of all.

Picking between two evils is oftentimes easy. It is when we’re faced with two equally attractive alternatives when we find it more difficult to decide. Is it because we want all and the best of everything? Or is it because we are afraid of the risks that accompany and the consequences that result from the choice that we ultimately make? Or is it because we plainly do not know what we want?

Not knowing what we want. Isn’t that the story behind the interior epic of our ambivalence?

Why do you make the things I have chosen seem hateful to me,
if you have nothing to give me instead?
- Edith Wharton,
The House of Mirth

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

make a decision. if it is right keep moving forward, if not go back the other way.

i paraphrased mr. ross perot, sr :)

Angeli said...

but what if there are several ways, how do you choose? :)

Anonymous said...

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo,
Catch a tiger by the toe:
If he hollers let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny.

The above way of choosing whatever works all the time. :)

 
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