Respect the choice made

One thought a week.

That’s all I really need to do this part of my job. Heck, it doesn’t even really need to be a good idea. All a columnist needs is one compelling or odd thought to stake claim in the brain, and we can usually take the ball and run smack dab into the abyss.

With that in mind, it’s kind of hard to believe I’m writing about personal choices again this week, seeing as how we covered my puzzling anxiety over making even the most basic of decisions last week. However, this is my space, and I get to do what I want.

So there.

Actually, what got me going on choices this week was a few different things I had heard and seen over the past several days. I was puzzled over how a person making an individual decision, based on what was best for him or her personally, could cause such an uproar from others.

Consider ...

I heard one of the national sports talking heads discussing New England Patriots star linebacker Teddy Bruschi, and what a popular figure he is throughout New England. Bruschi, for those of you who don’t know, has been one of the leaders of a Patriots team that has won three out of the last four Super Bowls, and was fondly remembered by many for the way he played with his young children on the field before last year’s championship game.

However, Bruschi suffered a stroke after last year’s title game, and recently announced he was going to take off this season to get his health completely in check before returning to the physical game.

Another one of the television doofuses then chimed in that many players were mad at Bruschi because he negotiated his own contract with the Patriots the last time he was a free agent, and that he took less money than others were willing to pay to stay with his team.


That’s right. Apparently the players union felt that Bruschi was spitting on all their efforts over the years to ensure players have the freedom to go where they want and grab as much of the pie as possible.

I’m sorry, didn’t Bruschi exercise that very right of personal choice when he decided the place he enjoyed playing and raising his family took precedence over another extra million dollars? Didn’t Cal Ripken Jr. take the same heat when he accepted less money to stay with the team that drafted him and gave him his chance?

Of course. And that’s because what was originally painted by the players union as a necessary device to allow players freedom of movement was, in reality, yet another ploy to secure more money.

Haven’t we also seen this before?

Why, exactly, is it often looked down upon for a woman to be a homemaker? Didn’t the women’s movement fight the good fight and struggle against seemingly unsurmountable odds for women to simply have the opportunity to choose how they lead their own lives? Isn’t the decision to stay home and take care of the home and children as noble as any other option available to anybody?

Why do I keep asking questions instead of making statements?

Fine, let’s take another route to this. Let’s go with pure statements. Fire up your letters to the editor now:

I’m upset that the pro-choice voice seems to have taken a pro-abortion stance. If a woman actually has the right to choose, then let’s let her get all the information available and make an informed, well-thought decision. If a young woman decides to keep a child, well, that’s her choice. Celebrate that she has the choice to make.

Elections in general are our greatest examples of collective choice. Do not whine about those in office, or complain about “crooked politicians,” if your choice was to not vote at all. That also goes for all of you who work double time to get out of jury duty, and then complain about our legal system. All of you made your choices to not participate. Now shut up.

If you live here and choose to do your grocery shopping at the beach on a Saturday evening ... wow, not a wise decision. But don’t go complaining about the long lines at the register when you know turnover day is Saturday and all those new weekly people need groceries for their time here.

Look, some things in life are not by choice, so let’s get off people’s backs about those, too. For instance, people did not choose to be tall, did not choose to be of a certain nationality and I did not choose to be so gosh darn good looking. In my case, it’s kind of a curse, really.

But that is what we are, people. Oh, yeah, and I digress.