decisions. in principle.

What is a decision, and what sort of decision are we making in this case? The famous, elusive, and sometimes derided, “Decision in Principle” is at this point probably no more than a statement of intent, which is a resolution to carry out some action at some future time. It is a decision, not a physical action, and is itself not usually quantifiable though it may manifest in a change of behaviour as we prepare for the coming moment of action. The import of the decision will certainly have had a psychological effect on us, either because of the decision’s implications, or because we might feel a sense of relief or resolution at having made a decision at all.

Our decision is only a declaration of intention, but it will change our philosophy and guide our thoughts from now on. It carries great emotional weight in the present moment, and will do in all successive moments to come for as long as we hold true to it. It may be a small thing, this decision. The words we use for it may be a phrase of our own devising, or come from a source that has importance for us. And it will need repeating, too, not only because its ready application to a range of daily events will be so obvious, but also because we are nothing if not stubborn and resistant.

Dumb, too. Don’t forget dumb.

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