“Choose” he said, “between the blessing and the curse.”
“Choose” he said, “between believing and being left out.”
“Choose” she said, “between living in communion or alone.”
This edict to choose—the red paper or the green paper, eat in or eat out, insider or outsider, a 37inch television or a 40 inch television or no television. Simple choices. Complex choices. Disconnect life support or not. And what is life support?
My mother’s friends sat around the bridge table playing Maj -jong.
and the tiles banged against one another.
I chose to play my music loud enough to drown out the clacking tiles.
I chose Labor Union Songs—the music of Baptist Hymns adapted by Joe Hill. The same Joe Hill who was wrongly accused of killing two people and who was executed by a firing squad. His supporters —the daughter of a former Mormon church president, labor radicals, activists and sympathizers — even President Woodrow Wilson. "The Utah Supreme Court refused to overturn the verdict and the Utah Board of Pardons refused to commute Hill's sentence."
My mother’s friend came into my room, “Could you play something a bit more melodic?” “A bit more upbeat.”
“I want meaningful music.
I’m studying the American Labor movement.” I said.
We lived in a three-room apartment and my music resonated. Teen-age rebellion.
“Choose,” he said, “your political affiliation.”
My grandfather was a union man. He told me to never cross a picket line—“Never.”
I never had to choose to cross or not to cross. I’m not a scab.
Hobson’s Choice: a free choice that offers no real alternative.
It’s either this or nothing.
In the 16th century Thomas Hobson ran a livery stable. He instructed his customers to take the horse nearest the stable door or none at all. It’s either this or nothing.
I once wrote answers for a test maker. “Here” she said, “is the question. We want four answers—two that are similar, one that is obviously wrong and one that is not quite right.” She added, “Defeat the test wise student.”
A whole day and only two of my test items were accepted. They paid me for the day and for individual items. I left the job after one day. Too many choices.
It’s all about choice.
I chose the chocolate chip yogurt over the mint chocolate yogurt.
I chose the chicken sandwich with mandarin oranges and cranberries instead of the Mexican wrap.
I chose a ginger candy over an oatmeal cookie.
I chose an Empire apple over a baked apple.
Those are the simple choices.