We must constantly make decisions in daily life. Some decisions are simple choices (e.g., Coke or Pepsi) while others affect people’s entire lives. Furthermore, every decision has consequences and often there is not a clear alternative. Decisions involve weighing alternatives and considering the consequences. This unit presents opportunities for students to examine values, beliefs, and pressures that surround decision making.
When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. -William James
What are the important decisions that we will have to make in our life time?
- What are the commonplace decisions we have to make every day? What role do peers, parents, and teachers play in our decisions? What role does experience play in our decisions? How do you make up your mind?
- What are the common pressures we face in today’s society? What are the greatest pressures for us?
- What are the best ways to learn the important lessons of life?
- What things worry or annoy us? How do people respond to stress in life?
- How can we control our fate? How can we “seize the moment” when opportunities present themselves?
How do we uphold our values?
- What role do our values play in decision making? What other factors influence our decisions?
- What do we value most? How do our actions reflect this?
- How do our values differ from others? How do we determine our values?
- What makes us listen or not listen to our conscience?
- What considerations must we take into account if our decisions directly affect the lives of other human beings? What actions can a group take in order to prevent an individual from doing what he/she believes is right?
- What is worth fighting for? What compromises are we willing to make?
How do we live with the consequences of our decision making?
- What are the consequences of an important decision that you have made recently?
- What are informed decisions? What are uninformed decisions?
- What role does foresight play in our decision making? What are the advantages and disadvantages of hindsight?
- What is the effect of making a decision when we are uncertain of the consequences? What are the consequences of making decisions which go against what other people think? What price do we pay for each decision we make?
- What role does emotion and feeling play in our decision making?
What are the important career decisions we must make in a life time?
- How do we attain our personal and career goals? What alternative choices do we have?
- What specific personal, academic, and socio-economic choices will we be willing to make in order to achieve our career goals?
- What is the most important choice you have had to make in your life thus far?
- Who controls our future? What do we do if our plans work out differently than what we had intended?
Apathy versus Action
How and why must we act upon our knowledge, values, and abilities for the well-being of others?
- How can we justify a position or action?
- What moves us to action? What forces encourage apathy?
- How can we act to make our views and decisions felt?
- How can society be improved?
- Does conforming to the beliefs and actions of the majority make a person a “good citizen”?