Sunday, July 05, 2015

Decisions, decisions, decisions....


I guess there are times when we need a decider. Like when we take one of our Granddaughters out for breakfast on Sunday morning, and ask her what she wants to order. We can start discussing it as soon as we get into the car and head to the restaurant, and we can keep discussing it while we make our way to our table, but invariably, when Jackie the waitress asks what she wants to eat, she freezes like a deer in the headlights, while the rest of us offer suggestions and reminders of what was discussed earlier. Her brother also has a little difficulty making up his mind about what he wants, but his solution is to order five or six different items just to make sure he gets something he wants.

            As it ends up, most of the time Grandma gets to decide, so that we won’t be late for church, or so that breakfast doesn’t end up costing more than Grandpa made last week. I don’t think it’s a new development by any means. Parents and grandparents have been deciding what children will eat since the beginning of time. As we get a little older, we get to make a few more restaurant decisions on our own. Even at home, sometimes my wife asks for my input concerning what I want packed in my lunch, or what I would like for supper.  I’ve reached the age where I can decide not to eat something I didn’t ask for,  but after nearly 40 years of marriage I’ve decided that if it doesn’t involve broccoli or raw peas, things will probably go smoother if I simply trust her decision.

            The fact that we are able to make more of our own decisions as we get older doesn’t necessarily mean we are going to always make good decisions. Last week I decided to eat an entire cherry strudel in one sitting. While it seemed like a good decision at the time, I decided that a pound of cherry strudel weighs a lot more than a pound if consumed right before bedtime. 45 years ago I made the decision to start smoking. A few years later I decided it was a lot easier to start than it was when I decided to stop.

            Still, good decisions or bad, I appreciate the fact that as adults in a free society, we should be able to make our own decisions, as long as those decisions don’t require us to initiate force against someone else. I’m glad that I can decide to go to church even if my neighbor decides not to. And while I wish more of my friends would stop smoking, I think it’s more important that they have the right to make their own decision.

            For a long time, our government has been making a lot of decisions for us that we ought to be making for ourselves, and in the last couple of weeks, the Supreme Court has been in the spotlight for making decisions about some of decisions other parts of the government have made. It’s disappointing that 535 elected people in Washington, or a couple hundred in each state, are making decisions about what we must or must not do in our private lives and affairs, without any Constitutional authority to do so. It is even more disappointing that we allow nine appointed judges, most of whom few Americans can name, to do the same.

            We will be a freer, as a people and as a nation, when we decide to limit the government and the courts to their rightful duties of protecting us from force and fraud, and start making our own personal decisions again.

             Now, what’s for supper?

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