Crest Ink - Volume 31 - Number 02

The World We Live In, Too Many Choices by Al Duthie I must be getting old. I’ve become overwhelmed with too many choices in just about every purchase or ordering decision I have to make for goods and services. I can’t decide what to purchase or order because I’ve got too many selections to review and think about. The process has become too complicated. And it’s not enjoyable to me! I feel rushed. So I often simply revert back to the most simple, traditional item I’m able to pick out and of course that might be short-changing myself. But I accept that as the easy way out of my dilemma. It is good to have options, but am I alone in believing that in most places “the line has been crossed”? Is more always better? Gone are the traditional 3 choices, and the question, “would you like vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate? Why do older people like me become overwhelmed? Well, I can immediately think of many reasons. My eyesight is not what it was, my hearing is not what it was, my quick thinking decision process is not what it was, and my focus and interest is not what it was. When the choices are presented either verbally or visually I need extra time com- pared to a younger person. And usually the patience is lacking on my side and sometimes on the other side (say in the case of a restaurant food server for me). It seems like every single day I notice an example of too many choices on something. And if I’m with someone I comment that there are unnecessary choices being given. My poor wife Holli must get so tired of hearing me say this! Usually she just smiles and shakes her head. But I think she does normally indeed agree with me! Examples that come to my mind include grocery food items, restaurant menus, automobiles, paints, alcohols to drink, TV programs to watch, music, clothing items, house appliances, investment options, and a miscellaneous cat- egory involving sports statistics to review. How many cereal choices do we really need? How many V-8 choices do we need? How many different color shades of paint are really necessary? How many different flavored vodkas are needed? How many variations of seafood entrees should a restaurant provide? How many specially equipped fea- tures should a car really need? How many music genres should a good playlist need? How many TV series or movies should Netflix or Apple TV offer to be enough? How many different types and colors of socks or shoes does a person need? How many different designs of refrigerators does a person need to look at before purchase? How many specialized investment options does a person need to study before making a decision? And, to end my ex- amples on a sports analogy, how much more data analysis do we need in baseball statistics? It’s become so com- plicated that there is virtually a statistic for everything now. Will the next statistic be how many times during a game the Manager spits out his sunflower seeds? I’m an avid baseball fan, but more a traditional fan of the game. All these new and improved numbers and data just overcomplicate the game to me, much like all the extra choices in everything with our daily living.

I am practical. I realize that this choice situation is not going away. I must either adapt to it, or accept it. Unfortunately, the older I become the worse it will feel to me. How- ever, putting things in perspective does help. There are a lot more negative things in this world that concern or bother me more than having too many choices for some- thing. As an affluent society we are blessed with choices. Dusty Koch (Building Maintenance) and daughter, Dakota, had a little fun in the snow after one of our abundant snowfalls this year. After building the giant snowman, Dakota decided to name him Wally. Wally was able to spend a lot of time in the front yard before weather took its toll and Wally slowly disappeared.

26 Crest Ink April, May & June 2019

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