Making Decisions - September 23, 2008

Often times, we are faced with making decisions between things that we consider important. It's quite interesting how Option A and Option B are sometimes homogeneous, yet still contrastive in certain aspects. Of course, we would like to choose the option where the positives outweigh the negatives, however, it's not always an effortless decision. Perhaps we might benefit from Option A right now, but in the long run, this option could generate undesired effects. Perhaps Option B seems like a weak choice right now, but in the long run, it may prove to be an astute decision because it provides more advantages than disadvantages. The tough part is making that decision.
What are the factors that lead to our decision? I think there are many factors that influence our reasoning process, however, two of the most influential sources that play a pivotal role in our decisions are family and friends. Of course, other sources like the media, school, and religious groups can influence us, but I think that family and friends can have more impact in our daily decisions.
Someone's family can be so pivotal in their decisions, that a person might not feel comfortable deciding on something unless their family is behind their decision. Personally, I think this makes sense and is a logical approach to making a good decision. Parents influencing their children can teach them certain things because they've been through life's obstacles in the past and know what things to avoid or build on. A wise decision involves learning from certain mistakes or considering all possible outcomes before making a final decision. Parents can have that advantage in influencing their children because they know how to guide them well. It's true that parents can be passive sometimes, but if there is a strong bond (trust, compassion, etc.) in the family, that will help lead to better decisions.
Friends have a big impact on people's decisions too. This is why, in my opinion, it is important that we surround ourselves with positive friends in our life. If the people we call "friends" are our friends because they genuinely care for us, then their advice will consist of suggestions that will lead to a more logical decision. If they just tell us things without really caring what we'll choose, that decision may lead to a negative outcome in the long run. Good friends can help lead to good decisions, but great friends can help lead to even better decisions. Of course, we are the ones that make the final decisions for the most part, but their advice or counsel can be of help because, who knows, they might have had to make that same decision somewhere in their past.
I believe that both of the above sources of influence are important and significant, and although I may not always agree with their input, I try to be considerate of their analysis and accept it if they're right. The reason I consider that decision-making is important to society is because there are some decisions that can affect those around us as well. It may seem like certain decisions only affect us, but it may affect those around us also. That is why analyzing a decision before it's made is critical. Look at the effects of the decision, who it affects, what the advantages/disadvantages are, and what will that decision bring in 20 years from now.
One of my inspirations for this blog entry is Nehemiah. As mentioned in the Bible, Nehemiah led the Israelites in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem while faced with opposition from neighboring states that didn't want them to succeed. Nehemiah did not back down from the task God gave him. He analyzed each decision carefully: he prayed to God before asking King Nebuchadnezzar to go rebuild the walls and God answered his prayer; he got letters of safe travel from the king to avoid opposition from the governors of the Trans-Euphrates on their way to Jerusalem (those who would eventually oppose his task); and he put up guards while rebuilding the walls because of the threats made by his enemies. Nehemiah took the decision to continue building the walls in spite of all the threat and opposition he faced. This was a good decision because first of all, God had planned for him to complete it, and secondly, he never backed down from God's plan even though it seemed hard or impossible at times. Nehemiah was a great leader who made great decisions. People looked up to him and respected him. If we make wise decisions, God will bless us also. However, sometimes wise decisions can be those decisions that are opposed by everyone around us because they don't want us to succeed. Making good decisions means relying on God and using good reasoning to take decisions that will bring about more positives than negatives in our lives and/or in our societies.

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