Thurman on Destiny-Dealing Decisions

Thanks to Austin Ban

Thanks to Austin Ban

It is a simple but terrible truth that, in most fundamental decisions which we make, we must act on the basis of evidence that is not quite conclusive. We must decide and act on our decision without having a complete knowledge even of the facts that are involved. What we do is postpone decisions as long as we can, getting before us as many relevant facts as possible. Then there comes the moment of decision and we act. Our hope is that the future will reveal the rightness of our decision but we are never quite sure. Think back over you own life. Are there things that have befallen you that are the result of wrong decisions? At the time, you did not think they were wrong. Or perhaps you could not wait longer for further investigation and exploration. Your evidence was not sufficient but it was all that you could secure, the situation being what is was. Now you see what you could not have seen fifteen years ago. It has taken all these years for you to discover that you were mistaken. Since life is this way, it is most unwise to make decisions, destiny-dealing decisions, with half a mind or in a casual manner. Since, at our best, we must act again and again on the basis on inadequate evidence, it is quite unworthy of our responsibility as human beings to use less than our highest wisdom in making up our minds. There is no guarantee that the decision I make will not, in the end, form a mistake, a bad judgment, a movement in error. But I shall bring to bear upon it the fruits of my cumulative wisdom in living, the light from as many lamps along the way as I can see, and the greatest spiritual resources available to me.

Howard Thurman in Deep is the Hunger, 9-10

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