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  • Jered Stewart

Decisions: Rational, and Kind

Chocolate or vanilla? Hmmm, I have a big decision to make, except now there is Coffee Oreo, Maine Black Bear, German Chocolate…the choices are endless. How to decide? Should I buy this car or keep looking? Large fries or a salad? Get up early to exercise, or hit the snooze…again. Decisions, decisions.

Lately I’ve been reading a book about decision making, and I find it fascinating. Every now and then I stop reading to share a brilliant insight with my wife, and often she doesn’t find it quite as interesting as I do. I guess sometimes you just have to be there. I suppose it’s like me describing what it’s like in the Sistine Chapel. I’m sure I can give you a good description, but you won’t have the same awe or appreciation if you didn’t see it yourself.

Anyhow this book is quite interesting (to me) because it addresses the rationality, or lack thereof, that humans bring to making decisions. Many of us think we may be rational or logical thinkers. We gather and assimilate data, we investigate the facts, and then we make the right decision based upon the available information. I’ve always thought of myself as being a practical and deliberate decision maker. I like to think that I think that way, but do I really?

The answer, perhaps not surprisingly, is no. We often make decisions every day based upon a variety of other factors that influence our decision making. And many times, we are not rational. Humans are more than just irrational beings though, we are filled with emotions, and we all have unique experiences that contribute to our worldview, mindset, and influence our decisions.

As the days pass by it’s hard to know how to handle this crisis. How do we decide what to do? Do I wear a mask when I go out? Is it ok to go to the store? Do I trust what I am being told? Are my freedoms being taken away? We have more questions than answers. As we go about making decisions every day, I would suggest that we decide to be patient with one another, we decide to persevere, we decide to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Let’s decide to be kind to one another, decide to resolve conflict, and decide to help others who need help. Regardless of what’s going on in the world, these are some good decisions that we can all make.

Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

- Viktor Frankl and/or Stephen Covey

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