Left or right, chicken or beef, wear the blue shirt or the white one, embellish the truth or tell a white lie. We deal with options constantly. Most of the time, we instantly decide on the best option out of habit. Option choosing become rote.
Options are good. We are lucky to have them. And most times we can create many more than we (think we) have. There are times GV asks me, or I ask her, (depending on who’s turn it is) what the other would like for dinner. Most times, the answer is, “what are the options.” We long ago decided that three was the right number. Sometimes it takes a little creativity to provide those three. But it’s about opening and having options.
Yesterday I was in a large market looking for an inexpensive piece of luggage and there were so many options. Definitely more than three. It was great having all those options. It invoked (provoked) good “if/then” logic. In the check out line, the three different groups in front of me each decided to not buy items that had in their cart as they were checking out, weighing their options until the end. Every once in a while you can see someone at a hot food or salad bar walking around and around, studying the choices, weighing their options.
Yesterday in the morning I went for a medium walk up a good size hill. I came to a T and the option was to go further, or go back. I went back. I took the easy option. I was glad there were only two.
But aside from many of the daily, mechanical options, we have daily not-so-mechanical ones. They surround doing the right thing. Sometimes the option choice gets bungled. Not that we do the wrong thing, but maybe one option was more right. We can all think back to times we’d love to have a do-overs, the chance to re-choose the option more right. And therein lies the trick in option choosing — choosing the most right option. The choice is not always so clear in the throws of our fast-paced lives. Our mind-clutter sometimes fogs the best option choice.
About two years ago I was on the phone with a cousin of mine and he said, “Freddie, if it’s not right, it’s wrong.” That stuck with me, although I don’t believe the world is so black and white. There is lots of good grey.
Doing the right thing may mean not choosing to check Facebook or Twitter during our day jobs. It’s easy to be diverted into the personal digital world when we are on someone else’s clock. It’s kind of like stealing. My cousin may say it would be wrong, because it’s not right. JC Penny last year discovered that 4,800 people working at their headquarters watched 5 million youtube videos in one month. (they’ve since laid off 1,600 of those employees). That is a lot of people in one company choosing perhaps the wrong option during their workday.
Do we need to hide something from a spouse, family member or a good friend? If so, it may be the right thing, or it may not. It all boils down to having picked the right option, or the most right option. Many of us grew up taking multiple choice tests. Sometimes there was only one right answer. And other times, there were answers close to right. But there was one that was most right.
Today I had the option of joining two different groups of cyclists, riding with my associate for a little bonding, or going it alone. I was damn lucky to have those four options. In fact, kneeling down grateful. It wasn’t hard to pick the (most) right option. Anyone of them could have been right. Doesn’t mean the others are wrong.
The good news is, what is in front of us is nothing but options. We can choose how to think and what to do almost every moment. And we can creatively generate more options. How lucky we are.
Options are good. Keep yours open. Keep them plentiful. And do the right thing.