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There are options all the time, and there is the standard conundrum supposedly reserved for the likes of Buridan’s ass. He was the foolish donkey in Aesop’s Fables who got stuck halfway between eating one pile of hay or another one the same distance to his other side. A much wiser man was baseball coach Yogi Berra  who opined that when you come to a decision, make it, or “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

I’ve noticed that when I come to a fork in the road there is an abundance of options, and a lot of Americans seem to have made their decision based, somewhat arbitrarily it seems to me, to go right or to go left no matter what the consequences. Another option is to follow in the tradition of the Classic Greeks, and when faced with an impossible decision ask the Delphi Oracle, and do exactly as they instruct, because the Gods have spoken to you, and no matter what the trials on the chosen trail, you must persevere. Some people may toss a coin when faced with that type of arbitrary decision, but that seems very weak, compared to the Gods speaking their commands, and likely to lead to returning to the junction when the going gets tough. Some people, I think it’s the Marines, claim the tough get going when the going gets tough. Returning to the decision point just leaves you tired and with less energy to pursue the other route.

There are of course other obvious options that generally are not spoken of in that postulated predicament; and one is you can simply turn around and go back to where you came from. Another option is to just wait there until something happens, like someone coming along one of the roads whom can tell you what they know of the different roads.

Commonly at the junction of roads there will be a town with a lot of interesting things to do, and you might just decide to stay there forever. Why bother with going anywhere? Just participate in the life that’s available where you are at. That is like my quip, “When you come to a fork in the road, pick it up; it might soon be valuable to you.” Also, if there isn’t a town at the junction, perhaps there should be, and by staying there you could found a town and name it after yourself, and have your name on the map. Probaway, Oregon, sounds as good to me as Grand Junction, Colorado, or Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Someone must have come to a fork in the road and not been able to decide, so Truth or Consequences it was, and they just couldn’t go any further. They could have named it Buridan.

Should two courses be judged equal, then the will cannot break the deadlock, all it can do is to suspend judgement until the circumstances change, and the right course of action is clear. — Jean Buridan, 1340

Of course if we were not on a road, but on a trail, I would recommend the A trail, and avoid the B trail.

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