Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Decisions and Outcomes

The outcomes of all decisions are 
in retrospect

A hundred ants eagerly make their way up a fat tree trunk. Juicy flowers and red berries are at the top branches. Itni and Mitni  move along in single file following everyone else before them. And suddenly it is a moment of decision!

Two stiff branches fork out. Which branch to take? Itni chooses this one and Mitni chooses the other. Ten minutes later ... Itni is munching a juicy treat. Mitni is floundering, running at full speed, but going nowhere. 

branches of the tree where Itni and Mitni part ways

We make a decision and move in a direction. Many things make us choose a particular course of action. It is difficult to pin down the exact reason. 
What prompts selection of action?  

  • Tradition? ... this is the way it is always done
  • Instinct? ... my sixth sense says
  • Experience? ... Bittu's mamaji did it this way
  • Bravado? ... nothing ventured nothing gained
  • Random option? ... OK this one

On hindsight both success and failure look so logical. 
We look at outcomes and say, How could he be so foolish. or we say ... See that is why he succeeded
I mean didn't Mitni see the pollen grains on the branch? He should have smelt the fruit! … He should have just followed Itni !!

juicy treats at top branches

All outcomes are O-S-O …. Oh-So-Obvious in hindsight.
But decision making belongs to that moment. 
We select a branch and move on. 
And yes, everybody around us is moving as well. 
So the scenario is changing even moments after the decision has been made. We pick an outcome in the life of a country, a company, a family, a national hero or an individual. 
We shake our heads and frown with wisdom and say…how could he!!! 
We pick an act the we ourselves have made and sigh with regret and say, how could I?

When we are evaluating the outcomes of decisions let us be gentle...
towards ourselves and towards others
All outcomes are O-S-O - Oh so obvious -  in hindsight. 

Mitni slid off the wet leaf and landed on a squashed berry... mmm yummy!! And that too was O-S-O ...Oh so Obvious ... the squashed berry was right below that wet leaf.

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