In Ramblings on March 31, 2005 by Cody McComas

Most decisions are not permanent.


9 Responses to “Decisions”

  1. Decisions we’ve acted on ARE permanent. Decisions about how we plan to act change all the time.

    I decided quite some time ago to stop making plans. I plan how I want to be, who I want to become, and go from there. I’ve liked this change. =)

  2. Of course they are. Every decision, however small or large, is made once. That’s it. Made it, then time marches on. Sure you can make others in the future, maybe to counteract a previous one, but you can’t go back and undo anything can you?

  3. Do you mean that we get second chances?

  4. I agree with emily jane. The act of what we do or say is where the permanent part comes in.

    Second chances are interesting to me. If you decide to sing out loud in an elevator full of people but then keep your mouth closed you can have a “second chance” at it but really won’t it be your first chance?? How do we get a second chance at something we really never did in the first place?

  5. Well, I don’t know if I fully understand the statement, but I’m with Jared…not that I’m really taking sides, it’s just that “decision” made me think the choice has already been made and then there’s nothing to be done to make any sort of change after that.

    If by the statement you meant, “there are certain choices to be made that do not cause the outcome to be permanent”…then my mind goes wild. See, if I read a book, does every word always stay in my mind?…if I exercise for four months then stop, will I keep that progress I made? But, if I kill someone, will they come back to life? No. You see where I’m going, don’t ya?

    Some things just always change and so sometimes I find myself making repeat decisions, as it were.

  6. So-called second chances are first chances that appear very similar to previous first chances. But they just can’t be genuine “do-overs.”

    Yesterday you thought about singing on the elevator but didn’t. Today you go up the same elevator, maybe even with the same people at the same time, and you choose to sing. But it wasn’t a second chance, it was a new situation altogether, however similar it may seem. For example, you made decisions since yesterday by which you became a different person than the person that decided not to sing yesterday, and so did all of the other people on that elevator. The Earth is in a different point in it’s solar orbit. etc…

    That’s why I think ALL decisions are absolutely permanent. They are singular.

    Can we make subsequent decisions that seem to offset the direction set by a previous one? Sure. I think that’s what makes them seem non-permanent; no single decision is the last decision you will ever make, so it seems you can change your mind.

    But it isn’t that you get to “undo” or “redo.” You just get to make equally absolute decisions later on. And so on.

    I think this is some of the wisdom behind Dallin Oaks’ emphasis on what we become with our lives, over what we do during our lives.

    But it gets sticky in relation to traditional christian death and judgment. Do we eventually make a “last decision?” Does all our deciding come to an end after which we will be judged according to what we’ve done before, or become up to that point?

    Mormons like to point out that we still believe in choice-making even after that — “eternal progression.” But isn’t the scope of our choice-making supposedly set in stone based on a single judgment of our mortal life? (assignment to one of several “kingdoms”)

    It seems to me that every decision occurs within the scope set by preivous decsision. There’s no escaping that.
    So why should this mortal life be prioritized? We were making decisions and becomming before we were born, and we will continue to do so after we die. So why do the decisions we make during these 70-80-odd years hold so much sway over the decisions that we will have the opportunity to make everafter?

    I suggest they do not. To repeat, every decision is made within the scope of the decisions that preceded it. Supposedly, the circumstances we wre born into had to do with decisions we made previously. Supposedly also, the decisions we will be able to make after we die will be determined by the decisions we make while alive. There you go: no difference; they all hold equally infinite weight.

    Every second of every day I am consummately engaged in carving out my eternal existence. No way out, no breaks, no do-overs.

  7. “Every second of every day I am consummately engaged in carving out my eternal existence. No way out, no breaks, no do-overs.”

    I agree, eternity IS now.
    Along for the ride? Is a post I made about the same topic.
    Our decisions make us who we are.

    But to be fair to the original concept “Most decisions are not permanent” We have the ability to direct the course of our lives, if we are becoming, or have become someone who we do not wish to be change is possible. We can change, right in the face of our mistkes. We do not need to fear decisions for threat of permanence.

  8. they are not set in stone in the fact that we can change our minds at any time. yes time does go on, but that does not mean that we can’t fix or change things now. if i dedice to go to medical school, i make that choice, but that does not mean i can’t change my mind and go to law school later. that choice of medical school was not permanent. we have the agency to do what we please. that is really the whole point.

  9. Part of the meaning of “permanent” is that the thing/status/address/hair do is “unexpected to change.” Through experience, however, we all know that the end result is not always what we expected.

    Looking forward we see permanence. Looking backward we see change.

    Another part of the meaning: “not capable of being reversed or returned to the original condition.” Breath to breath qualitative change, as referred to by Dr. Orme. Speaking redemptively, that which is lost can be restored (re-gained), or remain permanent. The change is in that which is gained.

    Question: If there is no beginning and no end…what is “permanent”? My existence? Absolute truth? ?

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