Choose not to decide

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” This is a line from the RUSH song Freewill (on 1980’s Permanent Waves album). That line has stuck with me since I first heard it. Perhaps, in keeping with a few recent posts on ghosting, different directions, etc., but first, in my career as a photographer, and later as trial consultant, I’ve observed this many times. It is more than procrastination or indecisiveness. This expression points out that indecisiveness is not actually indecisiveness, but decisive, by allowing the default choice of inaction. Some choices in life are difficult, and life changing. It would have been less threatening to me, for example, to let the deadline pass on applying for the Rotary Foundation Scholarship that sent me to Australia. I’ve seen it in employees who couldn’t decide the best course of action, and then did nothing. Nothing that is, until Melissa or I asked them about that pending item and had to step in and make the choice for them. Fear of making the wrong choice is a real problem; some choices are harder to make than others. But, the reality is letting life pass you by without making choices, even if they involve taking a chance, is not living life fully.

Indecision is something that is not part of my personality.  I like to get it done, move forward, press on, and go onward and upward.  People who stare, seemingly endlessly, at a restaurant menu because they can’t decide what to eat are near the top of my pet peeves list.  It’s really not that important: Just decide whether you want steak, chicken, fish, pork, or vegetables and move on with your life!  People who drag their feet slow the rest of us down.  Furthermore, either you want to come to my house for a visit or you don’t.  It comes down to 2 alternatives.  One of my childhood friends, who was invited to visit David and me for a weekend, never committed to any of the dates I provided.  Eventually, when the first date was imminent, I asked on which weekend he and his wife would be visiting.  His response was, “Well, she still hasn’t decided when to visit.  And, by the way, she has always hated you.”  Thus, this person’s refusal to select a date was a passive-aggressive means of forcing the issue to resolve itself, in that all of the dates would come and go without a committal.  Letting the pages of the calendar turn without doing anything active on any of the days depicted in the calendar is, to me, a slow death.  Please excuse me as I pass by you, full speed ahead, in the fast lane.  I’ve got something important to do!


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