Friday, October 17, 2008

Choices, Choices

I went to the dentist this week. As always at the end of the session,I was offered goodies to take home:
toothbrush--yellow, blue, orange?
toothbrush head--large, small; soft, very soft?
floss--mint, cinnamon, apple?

I remember, growing up in a small town with one large grocery story--Piggly Wiggly--when the choices were:
Colgate or Crest (no whiteners, flavors, cavity fighters, etc.)
toothbrush--white with either a hard or soft head
floss--only one kind with no flavor.

Times have changed and complicated our lives. Simplicity is no longer viable when hundreds of choices are available with every product. Standing before any aisle in Publix or Kroger is daunting. This story concerns an ob-gyn who volunteers each summer in Nigeria delivering babies and treating patients who walk days to get to her. She says each time she returns home, "I don't go into supermarkets for a week or two after I get back. I made that mistake the first time, and when I got to the cereal aisle, I looked at all those shelves full of boxes, and I started to cry. I had to leave the store."

Greed, gluttony, wants, needs, necessities, options, alternatives plague us each day. And we become what we decide. Perhaps the story of the man who wanted to build bigger barns would be appropriate here.

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