Decisions of Consequence

We often think about decisions, in real life, before we take them. We also come across statements like ‘that was the wrong decision’ and ‘in the long run it turned out to be the right decision’.
But the other day when such a statement came up in the conversation I asked myself is any decision wrong or right? Or is the perception of a decision being right or wrong simply a matter of time and frame of mind?
Let us examine the problem with decisions first. The problem with real life decisions is that you can’t play what-if with them. Time is always flowing and you cannot come back to that same instance in time and take a different decision. There is no save-load in life.
Therefore once a decision has been taken there is no way to go back and re-take THAT particular decision. Once the route ahead has been chosen all other routes are closed automatically. In fact the very act of thinking about what to do next signifies a choice about how to proceed.
This means there is no real way of comparing two choices.
Therefore no decision can be right or wrong.
While it may appear right or wrong at a particular instance in time or when we are In a particular frame of mind, there is no guarantee that the evaluation is correct (or incorrect).
Then my question is why worry about decisions taken in the past?
Why decide to worry about a problem with no answer?
Why choose this road ahead?

Following on how can we decide what is the best road ahead at that point of time?
Well we can try and think of the consequences of taking the various different roads ahead. That is where the skill of the decision maker comes into the picture.

Quotes from Journey to the West – Part II

First part of this post can be found here.

Journey to the West is a Chinese classic. It is an epic (fictional) story about how Buddhist teachings were brought to China.

The English Language version (Chinese Foreign Languages Press edition translated by W.J. F. Jenner) is full of amazing quotes. I will be posting my favourite ones here.

Quote 5: Chapter 59

“The traveller feels lonely on the road;

Monastic robes do not keep out the cold”

 Quote 6: Chapter 60

“Don’t push around your best friend’s wife;

Don’t try to destroy the joy of his life”

Quote 7: Chapter 67

“There is an old saying that persimmon trees have seven perfections:

1. They prolong life.

2. They are very shady.

3. No birds nest in them.

4. They are free of insects.

5. Their leaves are beautiful after frost.

6. The fruit is excellent.

7. The branches and leaves are big and fat.”

Quote 8: Chapter 70

“By being too clever one becomes a fool;

What was once a joke can turn out to be real”

Quote 9: Chapter 73

“You are never poor if you are at home;

but poverty on a journey is killing”

Quote 10: Chapter 73

“Weeping eyes meeting weeping eyes;

One broken heart coming across another”

Quote 11: Chapter 73

“While good deeds stay at home;

Bad deeds are known far and wide”

Quote 12: Chapter 77

“No thread can be spun from a single strand;

Nobody can clap with a single hand”

Quote 13: Chapter 80

“A mountain can’t stop the road; it can find its own way across”

Quote 14: Chapter 80

“Do not fail to do a good deed because it is small;

do not commit a bad deed because it is small”