Thursday, June 10, 2010

Decisions, not choices

 Found this comment on facebook - love it.

Lorri Carr Personally, I am becoming disturbed at the use of the term "choices", as if we are all automatons who have no options except to select from the "choices" that someone else has pre-determined for us. I think that is faulty logic, and poor semantics, and degrades us into mere robots being told to "pick one of these", or to follow an algorithm (that we did not write) even if the circumstances do not all fit into the boxes.

I believe that whole, thinking human beings make DECISIONS, not choices. Decisions imply thought, questioning, careful contemplation of what one has been able to gather in knowledge prior to coming to a conclusion. Choices implies that the options are already limited by others, and you can only select a preference from the list that is offered to you, and I am offended by that. Perhaps these mothers whose feelings are hurt made choices instead of decisions, and THAT is why they feel like they failed - not because of the choice they made, but because they took the lazy way out and did not think, did not question, and they know it.

For example, if I am told that my "choices" are to have or to not have an epidural in labor, I say that is patently a lie. I can make a decision to explore other options, such as not even being in a hospital at all. My decisions are not limited by anyone else's list of "choices", they are arrived at after much consideration and thought, and usually as much research as I feel is needed to make that decision one that is intelligent and well-informed. Sometimes it only takes a few more split seconds to arrive at a decision than it would take to simply make a choice, so using one's brain works even in an emergency.

I don't offer choices to women, I ask them to think and make real decisions for themselves, because their options are limited only by common-sense safety factors and their own imaginations and physical abilities. A choice is a pathetically weak commitment, whereas a decision has weight and conviction enough to see a mother through a difficult birth.

This is a matter of basic human maturity. If a woman lacks the wisdom to make decisions, it is questionable in my mind whether she is suitable or prepared for motherhood. If it makes her uncomfortable to have to think, then obviously it needed to happen at long last. If it upset her, then she must have needed it. People who made the best possible decision at the time are never that easily upset about it afterwards.

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