Thursday, March 15, 2012

I is for Indecision

The times we live in favour decisiveness: Choose something quickly and stick with it. I don’t think that’s always a good thing and, in fact, it can be a bad thing. Some of the most interesting things happen to those who don’t choose quickly: Indecision can be a friend to creative people.

Decisiveness can be a very good thing, of course: Driving up to a red light, it’s good practice to stop, not weigh the options of stopping, driving through the light, coasting, etc. It also allows us to get things done more quickly.

On the other hand, when we’re not faced with obeying a law and when we don’t have others depending on our decision, sometimes indecision allows us to step back, consider more alternatives and even pick an option we might not have otherwise.

Most bloggers have days in which they’re not quite sure what topic they want to write about. Okay, that’s not true—I have no idea what “most bloggers” do or don’t do, but I certainly have days like that. More commonly these days, the indecision is about what angle I should take, how forceful I should be in my language, those sorts of things. Sometimes this leads me to abandon posts altogether, but other times it allows me to write a post that even I think is reasonably okay, one that’s moved in a direction I couldn’t have imagined when I started.

Sometimes, that sort of indecision can lead me to think about things in new ways, or to think about things I never have before. Thinking about what to write for “I” for ABC Wednesday is a perfect example: I had two or three topics I considered, couldn’t decide among them and ultimately realised that indecision itself is a topic—starting with “I”! And no, I won’t say what the other topics were; if I continue with this blog storm (as I call it), I may use one of those topics the next time “I” rolls around.

So, I think indecision, in the right place and time, isn’t always a bad thing. This time, the indecision on whether I should post this was resolved—ironically, that means that while this post may be about indecision, it’s not an example of it. Well, yes, no, or maybe.

Indecision is also the name for a political humour site run by Comedy Central.

The public domain photo accompanying this post is “Unclothed woman behind '?' sign. Woman holding sign reading "?" stands on wooden deck in front of wooden fence. Washington, D.C., 1922.” Taken July 28, 1922 by an un-named photographer working for the National Photo Company. It is available from Wikimedia Commons.

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Roger Owen Green said...

I was going to comment, but I couldn't decide what I wanted o say.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

Oh dang, Roger beat me to it! Hmmm, should I comment on your indecision or ask idly for a clue to your other ideas? lol

abcw team

Suzy said...

An interesting view of indecision.