Friday, June 08, 2007


I am up early this morning because I am faced with a decision that requires evaluating pros and cons and making an important choice. The case has been presented by both the prosecution and the defense; the time has come for the jury to deliberate. So my brain has been evaluating the evidence all night, ignoring my body's need to sleep. Because one or two hold-outs are keeping the jury hung, I have called a brief recess in the deliberations before the final vote is taken and a verdict is declared.

So my blogging thoughts turn naturally to the topic of decision-making or "choices"......

I have been pleased to notice recently that children are being taught the importance of choices. At least they are getting the concept that we make choices rather than just have life happen to us.

When our grandchildren, even the very young ones, tell us about something that happened at preschool, school or other setting away from us, they often make statements such as, "Well, Duncan just made a bad choice." This usually means that Duncan disrupted class and got into trouble or caused some mischief during playtime. I am glad to know that children are being taught that choices determine consequences. I hope they are learning to make choices instead of perceiving themselves as victims when they suffer the consequences of bad choices.

Choices. We make dozens of them every day. Some are good, and some are not so good. Some have profound consequences, and others are almost totally inconsequential. We can make choices that help us get through the rough periods of our lives, or we can drift through a bad situation, making a choice by not making a decision.

All of us have watched other people (friends, family members or colleagues) make choices that we can clearly see are leading them to eventual devastating consequences. Because we love these people, we probably have made efforts to convince them to change or alter a choice so they won't experience the negative consequences that we expect to follow. Of course it is good to try to help others avoid making poor choices; but ultimately people must make their own choices. Each of us must "own" our choices and allow others to take the responsibility or to "own" their choices.

One week in January, my weekly email from Words of Wisdom included several quotes on the topic of choices. Here are some of the best.

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved........ William Jennings Bryan

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."........Henry Ward Beecher

We design our lives through the power of choices.......Richard Bach

And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life - If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally
transform every area in your life - and it all begins with your very own power of choice...... Jim Rohn

You don't have to buy from anyone. You don't have to work at any particular job. You don't have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose...... Harry Browne

When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice..... William James
The judge is calling for a verdict; time for deliberation is running out. I must return to the jury room, take that final vote, make a choice, and announce my verdict in the case. Life is hard.

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