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By Pam Burke 

A perfect world is a doubt-free world


I wish I were one of those people who is totally self-assured — you know, the kind who never starts a sentence with "I wish."

They always think in absolutes and speak in declarative sentences that start with phrases like "I will" and "This is." They say "I am the answer to all the questions worth asking." Usually not out loud, of course, except maybe into the mirror in the morning.

Pam Burke

"Would you ... ?" "Could you ... ?" "Should you ... ?" do not enter into their conversations. It's all "do this" and "don't that."

They do not waste time second guessing themselves or their decisions. They don't doubt the decisions of others, but rather declare whether the decision is good or bad or if it will succeed or fail. They are sure about that.

They don't even doubt their underlings, thinking instead that the work will be done and done correctly or someone will suffer consequences. Either way, being the ruler of progress or the dispenser of suffering, they are satisfied.

Generally speaking, they're happy and/or successful people.

I, on the other hand, wallow in doubt and indecision. Daily.

And I'm not sure, but I think I should blame my parents who were always saying: "Think about how the other person feels" and "Think about the ramifications of what you do and say ahead of time."

Obviously, they were unreasonable people not fit to raise children.

Kids don't have enough experience to think things through and make proper decisions. They have no concept of when to stop thinking and they get stuck in an endless loop of wondering. And by they, I mean me.

How does the other person feel? Sad? Hurt? Betrayed? Vindictive? Justified? And since it's my brother, am I really required to care? Shouldn't he feel remorseful? Like he wants to make up for all the evil he has wrought in the world since his birth?

And if I think ahead about the consequences of my actions it's even worse. Action A has three possible outcomes and each of those outcomes has an average of three practical responses each of which has two to 11 possible reactions that spawn other actions and so on and so forth until the end of time.

This mental exercise serves only to create the perfect mind storm for analysis paralysis.

Then, of course, half the time, the outcome from my actions would be the one thing I didn't think would happen, or even imagined could happen, so all I learned was just keep wondering and never doing.

Doesn't that seem cruel? A cruel way to be raised, a cruel way to live, a cruel world to live in.

I would be writing about a more globally important topic today, but I can't stop wondering about what to have for breakfast. Should I have my usual cereal for breakfast or make eggs and toast?

It seems like a simple question, right? Because it's just one meal in one day of a whole lifetime of days. But it's complicated. I have doubts.

I know the cereal will get me through to lunch with only a small snack, but I have a strong urge for protein this morning. However, eggs and toast might not keep me from getting hungry. If I get too hungry then I'll end up eating several snacks before lunchtime, and that's not only not good for me, or I won't be able to focus, and worse, I'll definitely get crabby.

And then comes this: How will it make my co-workers feel if I'm an angry, worthless employee?

And here I am in another loop of indecision. Who has time for this?

(Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey at


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