Friday, September 09, 2005

Between black or white

I was happy with that last post, but it ended up not saying what I meant. (Learning as I go: "It reads well" v. "It says what I mean" are two different things. Damn and drat, etc.)

I was trying to illustrate the problems of decision-making at an everyday level, having to ask "what to do?" at every turn, and facing all those shades of grey in every decision (not just in my hair...)


Never mind. I do have grey hair, and it has sometimes been a problem, and that's a topic in itself, so fair enough. But here's what I was trying to get at:

Decision-making. It’s a pain. I can never decide what to do about anything. Often it becomes a process of eliminating the least-liked alternatives until only the least-hated of the least-liked remains (and just writing that makes me confused).

Do you know what I mean? All those shades of grey to consider... nothing is ever black or white. I wish I had religion or a strong philosophical stance or a guardian angel or something to tell me what to do. At least then I’d have something else to blame, instead of myself, and some criteria by which to judge things.

Gerry’s Aesop story on the previous post (a man, a boy, a donkey) suggests we have to make up our own minds, regardless of outside influences (at least, that’s what I’m taking it to mean). But how, in this present-day world, are we to do that? What’s the basis for good decision-making now? The public good? whatever makes you happy? do unto others? don’t rock the boat? try it and see? flip a coin?

I’m not asking you for an answer, this is more just a semi-philosophical ponder.
But I’d be interested to know what you think. All the little decisions we make at an individual level end up, cumulatively, being the way we make the world. And the other way of looking at it: changes in the world rely on us making the appropriate individual decisions. It seems just a tad scary to me. Where are we headed? What's driving us? Does anybody actually know where they're going??