When decisions are made, it implies some sort of detachment from one’s ego, desires and selfish stand. Detachments in decision-making are necessary for the pursuit of the common good. The common good is that which is of benefit to every member of the society. It creates harmony and removes frictions. No society in the history of the world has ever achieved harmony without making a surrender for the common good. By surrender here, I do not mean ceasing resistance to an enemy or opponent and submitting to their authority. I rather mean a deeper appreciation of values, letting go of one’s selfish ideologies and tenets, all for the common good.
Every decision-making produces a final choice. Jimmy Wales in his Wikipedia definition of decision-making says that it can be regarded as a mental process resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternatives. One of the most difficult problems ever faced by man is the problem of choice. How could one make a choice in the face of one of two or more available possibilities? The final choice, as already noted, is a product of decision-making. Every final choice has some outstanding consequences. A sharp knife makes a sharp cut. Invariably, a blunt knife definitely makes a blunt cut.
There comes a time in our lives when decisions are duly taken. To make a decision requires that one thinks deep. By thinking deep, one considers the implications and consequences of such. Every good decision is a door opener and a lift to the next height. Bad decisions are tunnels to the land of doom and monumental regrets. Decision is from the Latin word decisio, taken from decidere, which simply means determine. By definition, decision is a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration. It is the action of deciding something or resolving an issue.
It is an old saying that as one prepares his bed, so would he lie on it. Decision is like preparing a bed to be laid upon. A well-prepared bed brings about comfort and sound sleep. Moments of decisions create opportunities for aligning events of the future. These could be religious, social, economic or political events. It is a mark of excellence to seize opportunities whenever they come on board. There is nothing virtuous about procrastination when an opportunity creates itself. It is often said that procrastination is a tomb where opportunities are buried. Any opportunity missed leaves one with the irreversible outcry of “Had I known!”
Do I really wish to make a point all this while or could this have been a rigmarole, so far? Well, the Israelites’ march around the walls of Jericho was inevitable for the fall of that ‘unfortunate’ city. However, wherever a felling tree bends, there it falls.
In the act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities, some features must not be left out. Some of these features are: unbiased mind; truthfulness; sound judgment; appreciation of values and of course optimum sequere (going for the best), amongst many others. Yes! We must go for the best, irrespective of our individual interests. One remarkable distinction between man and animals is gumption. Whenever the word, gumption, is mentioned, some words that come to mind are: initiative; spirit, backbone, wit, courage, and more importantly, common sense. Only among Sheep, do we see every other member of the sheep family move gregariously to where others go. Some closer observations have shown that they move without conviction. Even if the first meets with some difficulty ahead, the rest would surely not mind the impending dangers therein. Why? It is in their nature to flock together. What a show of solidarity!
Solidarity is good, but it must be void of gregarious instinct. Only a principled man can always go for the best when faced with two or more possibilities irrespective of ethnicity, religion or even political party and interest. An honest Muslim can vote for a Christian who is really the best choice. By the same token, a sincere Christian can vote for a Muslim who is most credible for a particular political seat. A Northerner’s choice, considering the common good, could be a Southern politician. This also applies to a Southerner, putting into consideration, the welfare and progress a country first. Even after a party’s primary election, the one who emerges victorious either by election or selection may not be considered credible for a an office by the generally accepted norms for leadership. It is not, if I should say, an act of sabotage if a member of the same party with such candidate casts his or her vote to another, based on right decision.
But how do we decide, choose and vote for a credible leader? The best answer to this, by my consideration, is to know who indeed is a credible leader. He is one who is prepared to serve. He is one who has the interest of all at heart. He must know the art of governance and possess the leadership qualities as well. Our ideal leader must be a monumental excellence of discipline and order. He must be a scintillating gentleman or noblewoman who excels in virtues of morals and responsibilities.
Where are the Philosopher Kings? Where are the hypothetical rulers? Where are the true Guardians? According to Plato in his Philosopher King, (Republic, Bk. V), the only character capable of ruling a just society must be one with a passion for truth, and who has achieved the greatest wisdom or knowledge of the Good. “The Guardians of the Republic of Plato,” as presented by the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (published on the web: Answers.com) “are a combination of the protectors and governors of the state . . . They play the role of the military, the civil service, and the government, being the bulldogs against the enemies of the state but wise and gentle to its citizens.”
Going by the features of credible leaders or better put, Philosopher Kings, presented so far, would any one make a shout of eureka? Eureka is a cry of joy or satisfaction when one finds or discovers something of great value. Do we have such credible leaders worth queuing for at the polling stations? There may never be such aspiring leaders. What do we do? Make do with what we have? Do we go by the Mediocrity Principle (a notion in Philosophy of Science) that there is nothing special about humans or the earth? But wait a minute! Can a perfect man rule in an imperfect society? Is he not likely to join them when he cannot beat them?
Let us put these aside for now, though ever be mindful of them.
“Arise O Compatriots! . . . The labours of our Heroes past shall never be in vain.” We shall soon go to the polls. The moment of decision is here again. Another opportunity has surfaced. It is time to make the right choice. Let us think deep. Let us consider the consequences and implications of our decisions. Let us make the right decisions now; let us open the door and step up to the next height. Every legible voter must put into consideration, the welfare, future and progress of our great and blessed country. Let us put aside, all ethnic and religious differences. “Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand . . . ” We must go for the best. This is a wise decision. The time is now!