Utne Blogs > Literature

The World As Your Decider

by Elizabeth Ryan 

Tags: T.M. Shine, The Week, Random Acts of Indecision, Elizabeth Ryan,

arrowsOne of the funniest things I’ve read in our library lately is “I’m no decider” from The Week, in which writer T.M. Shine recounts his two-week (and perhaps longer now) social experiment with letting complete strangers make all of his decisions.

For those of us who feel paralyzed by the incessant barrage of decisions to make every day, Shine is a true revolutionary. Instead of stressfully deliberating over choices involving which healthcare plan to choose, what book to read, which class to take, or what time of day to shave, Shine let everyone else do the work—adopting a new “lifestyle” characterized by what he dubbed “random acts of indecision” or RAI for short.

Shine found that nearly everyone was willing to do his decidering, and he could avoid accepting any responsibility for his actions. One morning, he was particularly happy to relinquish his Dunkin’ Donuts choices to a “thick-armed” stranger in line.

“I couldn’t wait to get home and have someone in my family make a face about the two apple crumbs—Why’d you pick the-e-e-se?—so I could reply quite proudly, “I didn’t.”

“The old adage ‘You have no one to blame but yourself’ doesn’t apply to me anymore,” he concludes, “when things go wrong, I will have no one to blame but each and every one of you.”

Source: The Week

Image by The Citizen of Hachioji, licensed Creative Commons.