Decision- making

Text by Anil Chitrakar / Photo: ECS Media

Once in a while, we take great pride in the decisions we made. At other times we wish the decision was simply made by someone else. Some of us have the luxury of making simple (black or white) decisions while others are struck with making very complicated (grey) decisions. These decisions also have long term consequences beyond the immediate results or impacts. While some decisions seem right at that particular moment, new information comes up proving us wrong in the medium and long term. This is why we like to consult others and occasionally resort to an advisory committee or advisory board to help us decide.

Our heritage is full of anecdotes and stories that help explain the most complex issues such as the art or science of decision-making. This particular tale is about a father-son team that ran a village laundry business. They owned a donkey that helped carrying the clothes load in and out of the settlement. As the story goes, one day, the father, son and their donkey were making their way through the market place to collect a new load of clothes to wash when they come across a group of people sitting idle under a tree. They laughed at the father and son and commented on how stupid they must be to lead the donkey along without them riding on it. What a waste.

The father and son consulted and decided that the father should ride the donkey. A few paces down the lane, they come across another group. They sneered at the father and remarked how unkind he must be to allow his son to walk behind the donkey. This was not the way to treat a child….The two consulted again and this time decided that the young boy should ride the donkey. A little further on, they met yet another group of people who commented on how disrespectful the son must be to ride the donkey while his father walked. The two consulted once again for a bit longer period and decided that the best thing to do would be for both of them to get on the donkey.

This time they came across a group of people very angry that the donkey must be suffering under the weight of the two riders. They remarked that they had never seen such unkind people with absolutely no consideration for the beast of burden. Having listened to all these people, the father and son lead the donkey to the edge of the town, and decided to drop it off the cliff……

In May this year, instead of getting a constitution, we threw the whole Constituent Assembly out; and many are still trying to figure out what really happened? Politicians in this country have many advisors. Every ministry, department, project has numerous advisors, local and international. So many people advise Nepal on the best course of action to write a new constitution, end poverty and attain lasting peace. We travel to foreign countries for “study tours” and come back with so much advice….all of this would be justified if only we could make decisions. We need decisions that will get us all to a peaceful and prosperous Nepal.