The Deciders

You gotta give it to him. He never shied away from a matter how hairy things got.

I’m usually a fan of liberty.  Determining one’s own destiny, living the life that you want to live, making your own choices, it’s all great stuff – usually.  Still, I’ve been thinking a lot lately that freedom of choice can be an awfully heavy load to carry.  I can’t help but feel that sometimes, it would be uber fantastic to part with some of that freedom in exchange for peace of mind.

You know what I’m talking about.

Should you move to San Francisco for the job you’ve always dreamt of having, even though you know absolutely no one there and doing so would mean walking away from a 15% higher salary?  Do you kick it with Eric, the mischievous golden boy with the soft interior (kinda like a slightly rotten Twinkie)?  Or do you get all homewreckerish and throw your chips down on Alcide, the loner with rugged good looks, a heart of gold and a crazy-ass bitch for a girlfriend?  I mean, even something as “simple” as the admittedly bougie law school/business school conundrum is enough to drive the most stable of us to drink.

So, wouldn’t it be nice to just opt out?

If you could have someone else spend time deliberating, then make the decision for you, wouldn’t that just be awesome balls?  Whenever you found yourself at a point at which your ability to gaze through the fog of your own emotions was too limited to allow you to take another step, you’d simply reach out and *POOF* a helping hand would emerge from the mist to pull you onto the right path.

Think of all the excruciating pain you could avoid and the precious time you could save!  You could approach the biggest challenges in life with a sense of optimism, free from fear of that manipulative bastard, Pride or that relentless bitch, Guilt.  You’d always be secure in the knowledge that whatever happened, you made the best decision that you could…given the available data.  (You know the applicable phrase: shit in, shit out.)

Of course, there would be some guidelines:

  1. No decision would be made by just one person.  Instead, each Supplicant would request a decision from a Triune of Selectors; one subject matter expert, one mental health expert, and one lay person.  The objective would be to assess the relative merits of an option with as holistic a view as possible.
  2. Every citizen of voting age must serve as a Selector once per year.  The service period would last for a month.  During that time, the Selector would be called to serve as needed.
  3. Supplicants can elect to pay a fee for the service, or use it at no cost.  The fee would equal 5% of the supplicant’s yearly salary.  If they are unemployed, or otherwise lack the financial wherewithal to pay, then they would be made to perform an extra month as a Selector that year.  If they choose the free option, then they’d pay nothing, but the Triune’s decision would be unequivocally, incontrovertibly binding.

You might be wondering why the cost is relatively high.  Well, as any American middle schooler will tell you after the Civil War unit in social studies class, freedom is never free.  This includes freedom of choice, kids.

The power to shape one’s life is so fundamental to having a worthwhile existence as a human being that willingly relinquishing that freedom should have a price, too.  And that price should be high enough to serve as a reminder of the value of the possession that you’re handing over to a bunch of strangers.  Plus, it keeps idiots from registering a request every time they can’t figure out whether they should get with the flat-chested one with the apple bottom or the human life preserver with an ironing board ass.

I don’t know about you, but I so would love to have this option in my life.  The decisions only get more complex as I get older, and relying on friends and family to help out ain’t always a good idea.  Are you really gonna get career advice from your underemployed brother?  Oh, and I’d guess that your divorced homegirl going through the custody battle ain’t the best source for relationship tips, babygirl.

Still, I know that this is just a pipe dream.  In the end, we’re all the ultimate arbiters of our destinies; we’ve all got to channel our inner Dubya to become The Decider.  (I know, I know.  I just threw up inside my mind a little after I wrote that.)  And hey, I guess if even that dude can accept the challenge, so can we all.


Filed under Living, Philosophy

4 responses to “The Deciders

  1. TH

    I go through this all the time so I totally feel you. I’m over-analytical (shocker, I know) AND afraid of commitment (typical Gemini) so the idea of choosing just one option is my kryptonite so it’s kind of crippling.

    On the other hand, we should feel fortunate to have the ability to have so many choice.I don’t
    mean that in a proud-to-be-an-American way; we’re fortunate the universe keeps giving us a lot of options. Many people won’t have options and even more won’t have the autonomy to exercise their options, so whenever you feel overwhelmed just remember to be thankful for being able to be overwhelmed. And you don’t want others making choices for you. Have you seen/spoken to the average citizen? (shudder) I wouldn’t trust them to watch my purse while I go to the bathroom…

  2. Kristin

    Lol, I love it. But there are other areas in which this is needed, and not just the big life decisions. As a Swede who has lived through endless privatizations and the freedom of choice mania since the early 1990s, I’ve often asked myself whether our lives have become better or easier with all these choices. I’m not arguing for a Soviet style planned economy here and of course I believe in a market economy and in general I do believe in free choice. But how is a single mother with three kids helped by having to make decisions about what utility company to use, what school to sign up her kids for as soon as they’re born if she doesn’t think the public school they live next to is good enough and she wants them to go to a charter school (DeVos voucher system is actually a copy of the Swedish system), what phone company and plan to choose (there are so many in telecom capital Sweden that you get exhausted just from thinking about it), and so on. You get the drift. So many decisions and always the guilty conscience from not knowing it you made the right one. And of course, an educated person with more time and money is always at an advantage, compared to someone who already has less means to make these supposedly free choices. That said, some privatizations have been excellent, but some of it has been privatization mania. And as for the choices of where to live, what job to take, with whom to start a relationship, I wouldn’t trust anyone to make those decisions for me.

  3. Loved reading this thhank you

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