Visiting with my good friends recently, their ten-year-old daughter (who refers to me as Aunt Bridie) overheard me talking about some work matters, decisions that I would have to be making, and one particular issue that had become such a thorn in my side I was considering making a final, possibly rash, decision and just ending the whole thing once and for all.
She listened intently to the adults debating the topic, and then said, “Well Aunt Bridie, why don’t you make a list?”
I turned my attention, and asked her to explain what she meant. She headed off to her room and a few minutes later returned with paper and pencil. She sat facing me at the dining room table and said, “Well you see Aunt Bridie, when I have to make a big decision, I make a list of all the good things about it and all the bad things about it.” She then drew what looked like a lower case t on her page. On the top left she wrote “Do it” and on the other, “Don’t do it.”
Interview style, she proceeded to ask me to tell her all the reasons I would “go one way” on this issue, and all the reasons I would “go the other.” I listed all the pros and cons, which she furiously wrote down. When I had exhausted every last point that I could possibly think of, the results were tallied....