Okay. John has posed the following after my plea for ideas.
“A woman I met at the college where I briefly taught, once told me I had too many choices, that I was not driven by dire necessity. But that is just an illusion and her mistake. Choices are what we all need.”
…From The Sportswriter by Richard Ford.
Despite what you may think of the book and/or the writer, what do you think of the sentiment as it relates to ‘the struggle.’ Discuss.
Love that I hear Mike Myers’s Linda Richmond in that request.
As I see the preliminary assertion by the woman, these are not mutually exclusive, or even parallel, issues—having choices versus being driven by need. I see this quote from a Maslow’s pyramid perspective, and it seems that being driven by dire necessity comes at the level of fulfilling basic needs: safety, food, water, shelter. At that point your choices are different, your options are fewer, and your ethical limits are very, very high. Not many of us thinks about fairness or altruism when we’re literally starving.
But having “too many” options is, as the narrator suggests, an illusion. Not necessarily just from without, as this narrator posits. Too many choices can be an internal burden of someone whose basic needs are met and whose struggles are existential. Too many choices can also be an external judgment from one with fewer choices. Either way, I have to agree that the “too many” is an illusion and that the juxtaposition is a faulty one. Not just apples and oranges. Apples and skyscrapers.
By the same token, choices is not what “we all” need. Some people just need food, water, and shelter, and they don’t care much about existential dilemma right now. It’s a privileged perspective to think that options are the gateway, for some people can’t get within 100 miles of the courtyard.
In short? They’re both looking at things from a limited perspective, but the colleague is making a faulty assumption, whereas the narrator is assuming everyone is in the same position.
but that’s a cursory view posted mostly to get your opinions. Especially those who’ve read the book. I haven’t. (Should I add it to the pile? The pile is getting unwieldy and I’m loathe to add any more than necessary…)