Tag: Choices (home)

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

permalink source: Lewis Carroll
tags: Vision, Choices

In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

permalink source: T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
tags: Choices, Change

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

permalink source: Eleanor Roosevelt
tags: Choices, Emotions, Self-image

no surfer catches every wave

permalink source: Rick Warren
tags: Choices, Decisions

As a boy, Chiune Sugihara dreamed of becoming Japan's ambassador to Russia. By the 1930s, as ambassador to Lithuania, he was a step away from fulfilling his dream. One morning a huge throng gathered outside his home. Sugihara learned they were Jews who'd fled there from Poland, seeking Sugihara's help for Japanese visas that would permit them to escape the German Gestapo. Three times Sugihara wired Tokyo for permission to provide the visas; three times he was rejected. Sugihara, a committed Christian, had to choose between his dream and the lives of the crowd. Sugihara chose to disobey orders. For the next 28 days he wrote visas by hand, barely sleeping or eating. Recalled to Berlin, he departed still writing visas and shoving them through the train window into the hands of refugees running alongside. Ultimately his work saved 6,000 lives. Back in Japan, Sugihara's remaining days were spent selling light bulbs. When his story was finally told, his son was asked, "How did your father feel about his choice?" "My father's life was fulfilled. When God needed him to do the right thing, he was available to do it."

permalink source: Stephen L. Shanklin, The Book of Prayers
tags: Choices, Work, Morality

A recent article in The New York Times (7/30/03) points out the growing interest among economists and other scholars in studying sports. Particularly, they are documenting the tendency for managers and coaches to avoid risk, even when the statistics reflect a greater likelihood of success than failure. Writer David Leonhard observes, "Be it at Chicago, Duke, Harvard or the University of California at Berkeley, some of the nation's top economists, psychologists and statisticians are coming to see sports as a subject that requires their attention. Trying to understand human decision-making, they are writing papers about such choices as when to punt, or when to take out a basketball player in foul trouble . . . Their research is quickly leading to a theory that will resonate with any fans who have ever screamed for their team to go for it on fourth down: the professors say that managers, coaches and players are often far too cautious for their own good. "Teams are averse to going for all or none," said Steven J. Sherman, a psychology professor at Indiana University . . . "Teams don't want to do something that puts the game on the line right now." Leonhardt notes, "The professors say that coaches and managers often go awry when faced with a decision involving an obvious, yet ultimately sensible, risk. They seem to focus too much on the worst-case scenario: the Bonds home run, the game-ending brick, the failed fourth down." (Click here to read the full story; you may be asked to register before viewing the story.) It's worth asking ourselves as church leaders: are there times when we miss hitting "home runs" in our work because of an inordinate fear of risk?

permalink source: Preaching Now vol 2,no 29
tags: Choices, Decisions, Opportunity

Before this activity, write "X" on one slip of paper. Add this slip to a bowl containing enough blank slips of paper for all participants to have one. Gather three clear glasses full of water, a spoon, and spoonful of dirt, and a few dead insects. To begin the activity, say, "One of you has chosen a slip of paper with an X on it. Here is your assignment: You represent a congregant or a potential congregant." Line up the three glasses of water and say, "Here are three glasses of water. In one, I'll put just a little bit of dirt, not much, not enough to hurt you." Stir in a teaspoon of soil into the water, then say, "In this glass, I'll put a couple of small bugs; they are minute compared to the amount of water in the glass." Drop in a dead insect, then say, "Now, the person representing a current or potential churchgoer has to drink from one of these glasses." Unless the person is a joker, he or she will choose the clean water. Use this analogy to show how people choose among competing alternatives. Church leaders often excuse their flaws or missteps by saying, "Our church is just a little flawed. We make so few mistakes compared to everything we do right. People won't see the mistakes, and if they do, they'll overlook them. We can get away with it."

permalink source: LeadingIdeas: To-the-Point Training for Christian Leaders
tags: Excellence, Perfectionism, Choices, Ministry

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

permalink source: Eleanor Roosevelt
tags: Choices, Spiritual Formation

When Senator Howard Baker was a candidate in the 1980 presidential election, he ran across strong criticism of his support for Jimmy Carter's return of the Panama Canal to Panama from a Republican woman in Vermont. "Well, madam," replied the senator with sweet reasonableness, "I must have cast thousands of votes during my time in the Senate. You probably agree with almost all of them. Why focus on the one issue where we disagree?" "Pontius Pilate probably made lots of good decisions too," responded the lady. "But we only remember one." http://www.nationalreview.com/issue/jos200403021503.asp

permalink source: National Review
tags: Mistake, Choices

Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing, does some tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God's eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

permalink source: C. S. Lewis
tags: Choices, Morality

According to Aquinas we must define a thing not by its ultimate principle, but by the proximate one; and therefore the answer to the question, "What is the essence of virtue?" is not "Doing the will of God" but "Doing what is consonant with insight and appropriate to the situation." <i>otherwise</i> It is extraordinarily easy for us to convince ourselves that God wants us to do what we are doing. <em>and</em> How can God save us from the consequences of our imprudence without interfering with our freedom?

permalink source: http://www.basicincome.com/andyetsonew/cathquotes.htm
tags: Choices, Morality, Virtue

I am who I choose to be. I always have been what I chose… though not always what I pleased.

permalink source: Lois McMaster Bujold, "Memory", 1996
tags: Choices, Spiritual Formation

Summary: we evaluate our memories on the basis of a "peak-end" appraisal. How intense was it (good or bad) at its peak and how did it end? For instance, (and this is the actual example used in the book) two groups of men were rectally probed. Both examinations were equally uncomfortable, but at the end of the second group the doctor left the probe in but unmoving for 20 seconds. Objectively it was worse (the probe being in was uncomfortable), yet afterwards the men in group two reported less dissastisfaction. Why? The peaks were as intense but the end wasn't as bad. This is all based on research by Daniel Kahnemann.

permalink source: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz, 49-50
tags: Choices, Suffering

Another illustration of our lack of self-knowledge comes from a study in which researches asked a group of college students to choose a series of snacks. Each week they had a three-hour seminar with one break that allowed participants to stretch their legs, use the bathroom, clear their heads, and have something to eat. When the professor asked the students to pick a snack for each of the next three weeks, the students picked a variety, thinking they'd get tired of the same snack each week. In contrast, another group in the same study got to choose their snack every week, and tehse students, choosing one week at a time, tended to choose the same thing each week. These two sets of participants were faced with different tasks. The students who were choosing one snack at a time simply had to ask themselves what they felt like eating at the moment. Those who were choosing for three weeks had to <i>predict</i> what they would feel like eating two or three weeks from the moment of choice.

permalink source: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz, 51
tags: Choices, Planning, Self-awareness

Summary: there are two approaches to decision-making--being a maximizer or a satisficer. Satisficing is better. Herbert Simon first wrote about satisficing in the 1950s.

permalink source: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz, 77f
tags: Contentment, Choices

You could rely on the so-called experts to make smart decisions for you. But experts often disagree with each other. That leaves you to pick the best expert, and that’s something you probably aren’t an expert at doing. Look at the stock market. There are about 10,000 stocks. But there are 20,000 managed stock funds, the majority of which can’t beat a stock-picking monkey with a dartboard. You have a 1-in-10,000 chance of randomly picking the best stock in the world and a 1-in-20,000 chance of randomly picking the best stock expert.

permalink source: Scott Adams, The One Problem With The World, http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2006/11/the_one_problem.html
tags: Humility, Choices, Decisions

Augustus used to remark that the type of people who chased after slight gains that involved disproportionate risk were like fishermen who used a golden hook: no catch could compensate them for its loss, if it were carried off.

permalink source: Suetonius, Life of Augustus 25.4
tags: Choices, Opportunity, Risk