Choice Isn’t Optional

Being a grown-up means you get to make your own decisions. To independent types, this is welcome news. To others, it’s disturbing and profoundly frightening news. Too bad. Being a grown-up means you HAVE to make your own decisions. This isn’t true because I say so, or because anyone else says so. It’s true because it’s true. There’s no escaping the fact that you make your own decisions. Imagine you came to me and said, “Dr. Hurd, tell me what to do in this situation.” If I told you what to do (which I wouldn’t), you could blindly and without question follow my directive. But it would still be your choice to do so. Absent physical coercion, choice is always operative in such situations. The choice to blindly follow what someone else tells you to do is still a choice. You might feel like you can hold me responsible for the results of what you do, since you’re only doing what I told you to do. But that’s not the case. You’re the one who decided not to think. If you had thought things out for yourself–drawing your OWN conclusion, with or without my guidance–then you might have taken a different action. But in the end, you made your decision. Choice, in that sense, is inescapable. So you might as well make sure you play a role in it.