Perceptions: Judgment call
Last week, we watched the Sutter High School girls’ basketball team take on Wheatland. The game came down to the final seconds and the girls played their hearts out. It was exhilarating to watch. But what fascinated me most was the referees.
It was not that they never missed a call (as the fans were quick to point out) but that they were so decisive. If you put a whistle around my neck, I would never blow it.
My wife and I once made the mistake of asking our daughter to pick a candy bar. We pointed to the vast selection and said, “You may have any of these you choose!” What she heard was, “See all these delicious candy bars? You must reject all but one.”
She walked up and down the row with her little brow furrowed, deep in thought. We waited. We counted to 10. We counted to 20. We threatened to walk away. Finally, she extended a wavering hand and made her choice. The second her little fingers wrapped around her candy bar she looked at all the others and burst into tears.
Every choice of something is a rejection of everything else. It is easy to be paralyzed by this. It does not help that life takes place in real time with no slow-motion reviews. Blown calls are inevitable. And, of course, there are always plenty of people in the stands to point it out when you make a bad call.
My grandmother used to say, “Make your decision and don’t look back.” The older I get the wiser this sounds. I am still more like a kid choosing a candy bar than a referee, but I have concluded that pitching my tent at the fork in the road is a cowardly way to live – or should I say a cowardly way to not live. We must make our decisions and not look back.