That was the first decision I had to make this morning, as I headed off to catch the sunrise.
There was safety in a right turn because getting to where I could shoot would be easy within the time left before twilight. I could have shot from the pastoral pond on walker road, or even down by the ball field and the little ponds there.
But I turned left.
It put me in a race against time trying to make it to Lake Parker before the sun came within the 6 degrees and spilled its early morning colors across the horizon.
I knew it was going to be touch and go and with seven lights along the route, I needed them all to go my way or at the very least for no more than a couple to go against me.
Fortune favors the brave-hearted, or so they say and the gods seemed to smile on my efforts this morning. Each light conveniently turned green either just before or within a short few seconds of my having stopped for it.
All along the way, I kept only one eye on the road as the other was definitely fixed on the horizon and thankfully I made it to my lakeside spot just as the skies began to give way to whatever the sun was about to dish up.
I kinda disturbed a lone fisherman that had chosen the same spot but he politely moved to one side and even agreed to let me silhouette him in a few of these shots.
I hope you like them. There weren’t many clouds around but the sun still managed to created some wonderful shades of reds and oranges to usher in its new day.
As I drove away, I mused over a few different thoughts. Not least the decision of right or left and how in this instance, it played out. That isn’t always the way and there have been a couple in the past year where i never did make it on time.
Even though it was very much a win/lose decision, I didn’t even pause in making it other than slowing down on the initial stop sign at Walker Road.
Making a quick decision is one of the few qualities that I actually like about myself. I tend to be able to make a quick assessment and move forward while others will deliberate and even procrastinate while decisions get made for them.
I don’t have time in my world for procrastination and never really have. Those who do, tend to either find it difficult to analyze and process a situation, or hope that if they allow enough time that the decision will resolve itself.
Whatever the reason, it represents a character weakness. We all have character weaknesses and mine would fill many buckets, trust me.
But taking opinion polls, or forming committees, or waiting for fox news to tell you what to do inevitably leads to poor decision making and generates slow responses. In some situations, this can even lead to loss of life.
Reactions to pandemics, being an undecided voter, filling up lifeboats … these are all characteristics of a people that have trouble deciding what socks to put on in a morning. By the way, I love Titanic analogies; they are excellent when addressing decision-making issues.
But the majority of our decisions are not life-threatening. Heading north or south on Walker Road isn’t going to save anyone.
So why do we struggle with so many of life’s simple decisions?
In truth, I suspect that it is something to do with the fact that we have been groomed over generations to believe that being wrong is bad and being right is good. And so we raise generations of people who think they must always be right.
Yet many of the most important human accomplishments have been on the back of something wrong. Alexander Fleming didn’t set out to have mold on his petri dishes, but it led to life-saving penicillin and the age of antibiotics.
When we groom children to always be right, we deprive them of the ability to learn from their mistakes.
But worse still, we fashion them into thinking that we all must be winners and there is no room for losers. Is there even such a thing as a loser? I’m not sure there is.
We habitually pit ourselves against others in sport, competition, politics, business, and ultimately in war. We loudly announce that god is on our side and that we fight for the side of good versus evil.
Yet there isn’t even such a thing as good or evil.
The world is not black and white.
Good people do bad things and bad people do good things. Intelligent people are occasionally wrong and idiots are occasionally right. As my Dad told me many years ago, even a broken clock is right twice a day!
There are many problems involved in the search of being almost right. And while we can debate the rights and wrongs of external things such as politics or business, there should be no debate about our internal things.
By internal things, I mean the right or wrong that really only affects ourselves. Did I make it to the lake or not? Did I choose the right color socks or not? Did I blur the shot or not?
Almost all right vs wrong decisions have happened in the past. It’s why I used the word “did” in those silly questions above.
And right or wrong, past decisions got each of us to where we are right now. Here and now.
Whatever is in the past is in the past. Its only real benefit to us lies in whether we learned something from it. And the best learning comes from not being right all the time.
If you always win in each of your endeavors and are where you are today because of it, how well positioned are you to be able to handle a future adversity?
Those of us who have been around long enough, know we are not always right, we do make mistakes, and sometimes we don’t make it to the lake on time.
We are only human. And that isn’t an apology. It’s just a statement of fact.