Wise Choices

Make Wise Choices

NOTE: What might be a wise choice in one culture is often unacceptable in another culture. Even in the same country, even among people of the same religion, a choice one person sees as intelligent, might seem  unacceptable to others. This is true especially with questions about sex, abortion, and homosexuality.  Please understand that I am an American writing from my own perspective.

The girl needs to study but would rather do something else. Will she make an intelligent choice?Every human has four endowments — self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… the power to choose, to respond, and to change.
— Stephen Covey

Monica looks overwhelmed. She knows she needs to study but her roommate is going to a movie with some friends and asked if Monica wanted to go.  Another friend asked her to go  to a party. Monica is also thinking about watching her favorite TV show. It is about to start.

She also needs to do laundry. Just about everything is dirty. And she should really call home. It’s her mother’s birthday.  There are  too many choices. What will she do?

If Monica was an impulsive sort of person, she would probably have taken the first opportunity to do anything but study. She told her friends she had to study.  But, from her expression, I wonder if she’s having second thoughts, wishing she’d gone along. Just thinking about it makes it hard to concentrate on her work.

Many students make foolish choices, like going to a movie or party when they have a test the next day and know they need to study. Hopefully, students who do this will learn from experience when they fail their test. At least this sort of foolish choice isn’t fatal.

Others make choices that have more serious consequences and could be fatal. They may to get drunk and then drive. They could wreck the car and injure or kill themselves and others.  Others use drugs and end up, not only failing all their classes, but destroying their lives.

We can all give other examples of terrible choices we sometimes make. Students almost never flunk out of college because they weren’t smart enough to succeed. They fail because they make foolish choices.

The words choice and decision are often used interchangeably. Here, I use to word choice as something done impulsively, without any serious thinking. A student who makes a choice to drink one beer and then another and another isn’t likely to consider the consequences of getting drunk. It sounded like fun. Their friends are doing it. “Sure, let’s get all get drunk.” This was a choice.

I use the word decision to describe an intentional choice, a choice made only after considering the alternatives, the advantages and consequences of each. 

You are in control of your life. Don’t ever forget that. You are what you are because of the conscious and subconscious choices you have made.                — Barbara Hall


I have organized decisions into three categories:

 Goal-based Decisions            Social Decisions                Personal Decisions

or you might go on to    Social Skills

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