Saturday, 16 March 2019


The ideal of our present culture is to have unlimited choice; we've been heading that way for a generation and more. I remember being staggered by the choice of 19 squillion brands of breakfast cereal in the local supermarket when I first lived in the States nearly fifty years ago. Now, it's everywhere, and so taken for granted that we don't see it any more.

Except, of course, that we are not granted unlimited choice; it is an illusion. We are granted what the market thinks will sell, but still somehow presented as if we have infinite choice. But beyond this is the illusion that as limited human beings- limited in time and space, in economic reach, in what our history has imposed on us, in the consequences of choices we have already made (and this is not an exhaustive list)- we can have unlimited choice.

Choice is the servant of our values. 'Choose you this day whom you will serve' invites Joshua in the Old Testament as he speaks to the gathered children of Israel whom he is leading. And the choice is stark, limited, urgent, and a moral enterprise. In the end it's 'common good' or 'because I''m worth it', life or death, life enhancement or a closing down of options.

Hard maybe to see this in the all-persuasive and seductive world which invites us to pamper ourselves at every opportunity, but choice is an indicator of moral compass. And true north? I hope that mine is fixed, with Joshua; 'as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord'.      

No comments:

Post a Comment