As I sat pondering whether to have jam or marmalade on my toast the other day, it suddenly dawned on me that everyday, each and every one of us make thousands of decisions. Now forgetting for a minute the “butterfly effect“, some of these decisions are trivial whilst others can be life-threatening.
In a typical lifetime, the ordinary Joe like you or me, will probably make only a handful of these big decisions. The really big decisions are made by “leaders”. Leaders, in the modern definition of the word, would probably include politicians and captains of industry. Now what is (or should be) the important trait of a major “decision maker”? I think, simply put,
- They should be qualified in the field of the decision to be made.
- They should understand the consequences of either (or all) of the options.
- Lastly they should possess that important gift, wisdom.
Some recent important decisions locally and from around the world make me really wonder if the decision-makers possessed even one of these traits. I’ll give you some examples;
- The military junta in Burma prevent foreign aid from reaching their citizens after a devastating cyclone which leaves up to 100 000 dead.
- Mad Bob Mugabe unleashes his dogs of war to punish the population for voting against him and ensure victory (again) in the run-off. International observers and peace-keepers are also forbidden.
- A Kwazulu-Natal rural doctor faces disciplinary action for arranging foreign-sponsored ARV drugs for his HIV-positive pregnant patients after the Health Department refuses his request to save lives.
- Our (allegedly) alcoholic Health Minister and her equally useless MEC in KZN condone, and are keynote speakers at, an AIDS conference that actively promotes AIDS-denialism and traditional cures over internationally-recognised ARV treatment.
These decisions cost tens of thousands of (mainly) innocent lives. Do you think these idiots pass my simple 3-point test? Of course they don’t, but hey, we get the leaders that we voted for. After that we are expected to shut up until the next election. “Leave it to us,” they say, “leave it to us.”
Now, jam or marmalade?