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Opinion and Decision Making

I’m writing this at La Bresse, a skiing town in the north-east of France, while waiting for my husband and sons to descend from the slopes so that we can have a late lunch together. From time to time I glance at the constant queue of skiers at the automatic machine and “caisse” (where you pay your half or day pass). An hour ago, a male staff came and advised the waiting men and women that there’s another automatic machine at the other side of the building next to the restaurant. No one moved and it’s because either they didn’t believe him or thought that the situation next to the resto could change any minute and the queue would even be longer.

Why did they decide not to go to the other automatic machine which didn’t have a queue? Every day we decide on food, clothes, words, what to do with whom, where and when, etc. We make decisions on matters that range from simple routine to usually significant issue. Generally, our decision making is a product of our intuition (what we feel and believe is right at the moment), experience (heuristic approach) or knowledge (acquired from learning, objective information from experts and experience).

For nearly a month now, the French media have been having a party reporting on the immigration of its world-famous actor, Mr. Gerard Depardieu, to Belgium where taxes are lower than in France. Some French nationals have the opinion that Mr. Depardieu should be strapped of his citizenship as it’s unpatriotic to deprive your country of its needed financial resource at the time when it needs it most. Such an opinion is subjective with moral and philosophical dimensions, which is not shared by the majority of the residents.

If you had annual revenue of over a million Euros, wouldn’t you try to avoid paying the 75% tax by moving abroad? This is the kind of decision that one makes based not just on intuition or subjective opinion but on knowledge. Knowledge enables us to gauge what’s correct or not and weigh up negative and positive consequences.

People have moved globally for reasons of lifestyle, employment, business and economy, safety and security, family, friends, weather and environment, social welfare and health services; thus, why not add taxes on the list minus the accusation of egotism and un-patriotism? I’m certain that it’s not only in France where immigration and taxes are the common subjects of discussion among friends and family during this festive season.

I hope that in all your decisions throughout 2013 you’ll have knowledge and intuition in the right proportion and order. Happiness and success are not due to the stars but hard work and good decision making. Don’t do the latter when you’re deeply hurt, desperate, depressed, startled or furious; but only after you’ve given the situation enough rationale thinking , explored possibilities and come up with a responsible choice. As well, let’s be vigilant and sensitive to the impact of our opinions and decisions on others, especially to our family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, clients and those we are in contact with.

Best wishes to you … from Being Intelligent Gifted

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