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To Choose or Decide. Which will you do?

The new year is fast approaching, which means that it is time for both reassessments and future planning.

What will you choose? What will you decide?

There is a difference.

Most people use these words interchangeably, but look at them more carefully:

The word decide shares the root -cide with a number of others: Suicide, - homicide - , genocide.

To -cide means to kill. When you de-cide, you kill. You kill them all off: Not him, not her, not that, and not that other thing, either. So the last one standing is the one. Buy default: Ok, I’ve de-cided.. I'll take this one - the one still standing.”

It is entirely rational. Each murder is perpetrated cooly, based on evidence (which is sometimes just justification) for your de-cision. Sorry, opinion/option/potential way of being gets killed off:

Bang bang, I shot you down / bang bang you hit the ground.


A choice, on the other hand, is different.

To choose is to select freely, after consideration. So it follows that in order to select freely, one must first and foremost be free.

And to be free means to be free of fear.

Most de-cisions come as the result of fear:

  • “I can’t do this because I might fail.”
  • “I can’t do that because I might lose money.”
  • “I can’t do that because I’ll be criticized.”
  • “I can’t do this because I’ll look dumb.”
  • “I can’t do that because I don’t have any experience.”
  • "I guess I'll do this because it seems like the most logical thing to do (even though I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I shouldn't)"

A choice disregards all of that monkey-mindchatter, all that bullschnitzel and relies on only one justification, which isn’t even a justification at all: I choose because I choose. Period.

No justification is needed. I might fail, I might lose money, I might be criticized, I might look dumb, and I most certainly don’t have any experience. But this is my choice. It is MY choice, and I accept full responsibility for making it.

I choose because I choose.

When you de-cide, you escape responsibility:

  • “I didn’t want to buy it, but the broker said this stock was going to go up.”
  • “I didn’t want to, but my parents said I should go to college.”
  • “He kept talking and talking but I couldn’t get away from him. I couldn’t think of an excuse.”
  • “I didn’t think it was right, but Ron Paul said I should take over the Republican Party and support his son.”


To de-cide is to abdicate responsibility. The safety in de-ciding is ultimately that you can blame someone else if things don’t work out the way you expected. It is a way of keeping the upside while radiating risk. If things work out, great. You're a genius. If things don't, you can always blame your broker, your parents, society, Ron Paul, etc. It doesn't matter who. The only thing that matters is that it is not you. "It's not my fault! I swear!"

To choose is to take full responsibility for your own actions. When you choose, the buck stops with you. This is what I chose. I don't need any reason or any justification. I chose because I chose.

It is an incredible burden to take on that kind of responsibility. Ask yourself honestly, are you able to do it? Most people can't, which is why most people don't. Instead, they choose to de-cide instead.

As the New Year approaches, please take some time to think on these things.

To choose or de-cide. Which will you do?

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So, is this what you mean, Michael?

Deciding is like carving out a statue from a block of marble, while choosing is like looking for a statue that someone else already made? :)

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

just don't kill your de-icer

Because that would be deicide. Oh, wait, that's something else.

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

Just depress the right button

or is it press? Is de-press the same as un-press? :D

TwelveOhOne's picture

"Depress the Enter key"

"You'll never amount to anything in life, you silly key." That never advanced to the next screen, though.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

That's hilarious

given my comment about ridding us of "the button" just below

It's interesting...

that Michael sees himself choosing what's right, but deciding what's left.

btw, I don't discriminate, I find all buttons depressing :(

busted! I do discriminate. I always choose zippers :)

My son and I have this ongoing topic

about buttons. He's graduating with BSME on Saturday and we're racing to create more tech earlier than the other. My contention is that the big breakthrough will be when we can finally get rid of "the button". It seems no matter what new and high tech we get, there's ALWAYS at least one button!

de-bunking my theory? :D

Is de-cide like de-ice and de-form, or de-press?

Your choice.

My choice too, but I prefer to relax, meditate, empty myself, say a prayer, exhale, and de-compress a bit before that kind of thing. ;)

really good......

Really good post Michael........definitely worth pondering and I'm going to share this with my teenage kids too! Great stuff!!!

Michael, you are deceptively playing games with words.

"What will you choose? What will you decide? Are you aware that there is a tremendous fundamental difference between these two actions?"

No, there is not. There is a continuity between them and claiming otherwise is distorting the meaning of language…the work of the devil, the deceiver.

We have been condemned to live in the realm of CHOICE between GOOD and EVIL. This is the result of an act of DISOBEDIENCE by our first parents, ADAM and EVE, who definitely CHOSE to follow the path of DISOBEDIENCE by CUTTING THEMSELVES OFF from the SOURCE of their IMMORTAL, INCORRUPTIBLE, LIFE. In other words, when faced with the CHOICE between OBEYING or DISOBEYING the COMMANDMENT they DECIDED (THEY CUT OFF) to DISOBEY. They were the ONLY ones given that CHOICE until JESUS came.

This is the true FUNDAMENTAL condition in which we find ourselves today. Mankind is in bondage to DISOBEDIENCE, SIN, and they are BLIND to this truth believing themselves to be FREE to CHOOSE. This is a great LIE since all of our CHOICES. all of our DECISIONS, CUT US OFF from LIFE since they reinforce the illusion that we are FREE to CHOOSE.

I say again, this is the condition to which we have been condemned because of the action of our first parents. We are born into it and we have no control over it at all. We can no more stop ourselves from SINNING that we can stop our BLOOD from circulating. The only escape is DEATH.

This is why JESUS came from Heaven to DIE on the CROSS as the ONLY PERFECT MAN whose BLOOD, whose IMMORTAL, INCORRUPTIBLE LIFE, did not come from the FIRST ADAM but from GOD. He is the SECOND ADAM who CHOSE to be completely OBEDIENT and in whom we can now re-connect to the SOURCE of LIFE through HIM, just as we are DISCONNECTED from the SOURCE of LIFE through our descent from the FIRST ADAM whose mortal, corruptible blood we have inherited.

When we receive JESUS, when we BELIEVE INTO HIM, then we also DIE to DISOBEDIENCE by this single act of OBEDIENCE OF FAITH which then leads to the LIFE of OBEDIENCE OF FAITH which itself is a GIFT OF GOD. This FAITH becomes ours as and when we ACT upon it, as and when WE OBEY. This ACT of OBEDIENCE has nothing to do with CHOICE or DECISION. If we are CHOOSING or DECIDING to OBEY then we are still living in the realm of CHOICE, the TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

JESUS has set us free from that TREE, THE SELF, and in HIM, the TREE OF LIFE, we are more than CONQUERORS over the WORLD the FLESH and the DEVIL, the DECEIVER. We are now dead to SIN and alive to God. I pray that many here at the DP will be apprehended by the Holy Spirit and converted to the LIFE of OBEDIENCE OF FAITH which is the ONLY TRUE FREEDOM.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)


These are pearls, Dave.

"Freedom Is A Road Seldom Traveled By The Multitude." - Frederick Douglass

Free Will

"You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear-
I will choose Free Will. "

The Beginning and End are set. The Middle is Yours.

Once again, Michael...

you have given me pause. A few times now, you have given to me personally, fuel with which to sit like "The Thinker" for a couple hours, scratch my chin and reflect. Like you, I have some pretty deep things going on in my personal life and your thoughts and words couldn't have come at a better time! So...thank you!
I am a person of logic and rationale...sometimes to a fault. I tend to over-analyze things and then, more-often-than-not, I do the wrong thing. LOL There is some strange validity to the 'Seinfeld' episode in which George does the opposite of what he would normally do, and in the end he gets the girl, the job, the apartment, etc....only to blow it all because he reverts to being George. I feel like this so often, it would be funny if it wasn't me!! LOL
Just yesterday, I made a 'decision' on my future...after lots of soul-searching and deducing the options, I have decided to go back to school and learn a trade as I can't seem to get hired for anything else. I feel as though I've made a 'choice' after 'deciding' on my options. I need to look at how I reach conclusions, I guess!

Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

Your link, "Decided." Resurrect your link to the past.

In conjunction with his Eagle Scout project, Josh Campbell, Eagle Scout Candidate and fellow Boy Scouts, coordinated the work project to place grave markers on both Union and Confederate soldiers at carpenter....

Syntax error lead to, "Suicide" link (HTML 404).

Cut-n-Paste HTML: <a href="http://www.fun-with-words.com/cide_words.html"> There are hundreds of such words<a>

Corrected Link: There are hundreds of such words.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thanks Mark

Much obliged for the link correction.

Landmark Forum?

I remember the example they gave their about Vanilla or Chocolate... choose.

Great course by the way if anyone is interested.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Some should choose and others should decide.

Placing personal choice without rationalization first allows blind faith in right/wrong, good/bad, best/worst to drive our actions. This may yield more accountability on us personally but does it really migrate to better choices? Removing those results, if done hastily or immorally it certainly could make our lives better.

Deciding, on the other hand, mandates the path taken to be based on facts (or perceived facts). Those pieces of evidence could change as new information comes in which allows us to change our action and learn from our mistakes.

In other words, deciding is rational while choice is not.

So I choose to decide what actions I will take in my quest to make the world the best I can for the most people I can affect in the shortest amount of time. And while I hope that yields happiness for me at some point, I cannot guarantee it. I could make other choices which would lead to more personal happiness, but I can't justify them, given the facts.

Here is what I will do:

FULLY VET. And then I will "choose" who I will support.

Politically and/or non-politically, I will continue to do everything in my power to live happy, free and independent.

Happy and blessed holiday, Michael :-)

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you