|Hydra and Kali by Damien Hirst
When facing choices, do you prefer deciding yourself or letting someone else decide for you?
What kind of choices are we talking about? Doesn’t matter. Could be something trivial: what flavor of ice cream to order. Or more important: what color to paint the living room.
Or even something truly significant: what political party to join. What religion to follow.
Got your answer? Good. Set it aside.
This isn’t a trick. I’m not going to condemn you if you answer, “I want others to make decisions for me.” Many people do. They join fraternities, the military or other organizations where following directions is tantamount. Nothing to be ashamed of. There is a pressure in making decisions, a weight in assuming responsibility for your choices.
Some alternate. I, for example, generally like to make my own decisions — chocolate chip cookie dough, white walls. Sometimes I yield to decisions made by others long ago: my parents were Democrats and Jews, so I’m sympathetic with the idea that government should help those in need and in no hurry to embrace unfamiliar faiths that seem even more contrived and arcane than my own.
Sometimes I want someone else to decide: “Honey, which tie goes better?”
So I understand, and even sympathize a little, with those who would offload their choice regarding an issue as significant as abortion, surrendering to a higher power: to the government, or some religious authority. It has to be a wrenching decision, to snuff about this tiny, aborning life, and if you could remove it from yourself, or from others, and decide it with permanent finality and unwavering certainty, you are free from the stress of deciding. As are they.
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