Friday, February 22, 2008

The Paradox (and Pain) of Choice

I had just been thinking about choice, as it affects our living spaces and our life dreams, when I got an email from my sister with a link to an amazing essay that spells out the pain of choice. Do read it: Too Much Choice is Pure Hell.

It's true. Too much choice IS pure hell. And today, we are faced with more choices and options than ever before. We know about the choices, thanks to the media. Advertising is designed to make us want...everything! Choose...HD-DVD or Blu-Ray (well, that choice has been made for us now!), Starbucks or Tully's, and the list goes on.

Every step in life is a choice. But I know that I am happier when I have fewer choices. This is why I shop at Costco for most of our groceries. I can choose from Tillamook shredded cheddar or from Tillamook shredded cheddar. No angst over store band versus Kraft versus Tillamook versus Horizon. I have one choice if I want shredded cheddar, and, yes, it's a good one! All through the store, little to no choice. It's great! I can't even choose if I want four bananas or six, the only choice is a four pound bag!

Choice can paralyze you. Have you ever decided with your sweetie to go out for dinner and spend an hour trying to choose a restaurant? Indian or Italian? Mexican or McDonald's? Chain or independant? It's why the happiest people who dine out are the regulars. Their server knows them, they know the menu, it's like being at home but with someone else to do the dishes. I always envied the regulars that feeling...but I have this craving for new, for different that I strive to keep in check.

Choice. Think about it.


Momma Pauline said...

What gets my goat, when I am shopping, is that the item groups that offer the most choices seem to be the itmes that we do not really need, i.e. room air sprays, salad dressing (make your own), immitation fruit-flavored belly washes, or flavoring mixes for stews and soups. We have also added Cash & Carry as a source for lemons, onions, and other seasonal produce items.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I don't understand, your sentence-...but I have this craving for new, for different that I strive to keep in check.
--Why would you strive to keep the craving for new in check? Isn't the new, the adventures, the different, isn't that what keeps life interesting? I say go out and try something new, don't fret about the choice, just flip a coin or close eyes and point. Have and adventure, do your one thing a day that scares you!

wealthy_1 said...

Sometimes it can be hard to choose, but aren't you glad we have the freedom to choose?