17 May 2011

Food, or a Cell Phone? Decisions. . . .

I just read an article about how many college students are applying for and receiving food stamps and other types of aid.  This in itself doesn't really seem surprising, since many students are quite poor and struggle a lot to get by.  What struck me more than anything else, though, was what one girl said about her situation.  She said that with her wages, she wasn't able to afford both food and her cell phone, so she had to apply for food stamps.  In other words, with the money she's earning she finds it more important to pay for her cell phone than to buy food.

Both my wife and I had the same response:  Get rid of the stupid cell phone!  Human beings have gone thousands of years without having the luxury of cell phones or text messages or special ring tones, and there's no reason in the world why we can't continue to do so.  But somehow or another, people aren't being taught to make decisions based on common sense any more--most decisions that people make these days seem to be about what they want, rather than what they need.

I'm not against cell phones at all.  They're pretty handy in their own ways, and they can serve important functions.  But are they necessary?  If I had to make a decision as to whether I would have a cell phone or whether I'd be able to eat, guess which decision I'd make?  It seems rather simple to me, but I guess it isn't so cut-and-dry for everyone.

We all have decisions to make in life, all the time.  If we're going to make decisions that lead us to happier and more fulfilling lives, it's important that we pay attention to the decision-making process.  It's important that we learn how to weigh the options and foresee the potential results of each option, rather than arbitrarily making decisions based on what our wants are currently.  If we can do that, then we'll find that our decisions get a bit easier to make, and that the results of our decisions will make our lives much more pleasant.

What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.

Bodie Thoene

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