Do you CHOOSE to GIVE UP your CHOICE?

What to choose? - Picture of what you see at an economy rice or mixed rice food stall.
Singapore
January 11, 2010 3:39am CST
I was standing in line at a mixed rice stall to order my dinner last Saturday. For those who are not already familiar, mixed rice is also known as economy rice (to digress, if you think it sounds like economy class i.e. cheap, you would be right had it been in the past. Now, it is more like business class though still not first class). According to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_rice , "Economy rice stalls typically consist of a glass case containing anywhere from 10-15 troughs of cooked food, including meats, vegetables, eggs and tofu. Customers select any combination of these dishes, which are served accompanied by a portion of steamed white rice." While waiting, there were two particular incidents that are worth highlighting and which are relevant to this topic. The first incident - I was trying to decide on my dish choices when a woman in her late forties raised her voice at the stall assistant saying, "Just give me chicken, choose any chicken for me. Any chicken would do, choose one for me!" It wasn't that she sounded fierce or that she was shouting but the decibels did went up higher. The stall assistant, probably not experienced enough, was just standing there dumbfounded till he caught his wits and asked if she wanted fried chicken, braised chicken or curry chicken. Here, it was interesting that the woman voluntarily insisted someone to make her choice for her. The second incident - the lady in front of me was just staring at all the food, unable to make her choice (and holding up the queue ). The stall assistant serving her prompted whether she would like some long beans perhaps. Though she said yes after a slight hesitation, it was not hard to guess from her expression that it was a dish she would never had chosen on her own under ordinary circumstances. Yet the point here is that she did. She voluntarily accepted a choice made for her. So you see, my friends, in many cases, we do have a choice. Yet while on one hand we lament the lack of freedom to do what we want, we happily give up our fundamental right to choose (or accepts its removal) on the other. There are many ironies in life and this is probably one of them. So, do you often choose to give up your choice (share some experience perhaps)? Or do you always want to make a choice no matter what? Or...?
10 people like this
27 responses
• United States
11 Jan 10
I have ben making my own choices, espeically when it comes to food, ever since I was a baby. My mom told me I woulud keep bacon in my mouth . I wouludn't swallow it.I was and I still a very picky eater.i rather just eat what i like than try something new. So at the buffet I would have had no problem picking what I wanted . Or not having anything but just plain white rice.I have eaten Before going out and just had dessert with my family. I am the type that Knows what I want from the restaurant Before I leave the house. At my favorite restaurant I don't even need a menu!
5 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
For me, I try to strike a balance of sort. Sometimes I keep eating my supposed favorites. Other times, I would try to insist (to myself) to try something new and untried.
2 people like this
@idowrite72 (2214)
• United States
11 Jan 10
I sometimes give up my right to make the choice for myself. There are times when I really don't care what the choices are and I will either let someone with me decide OR I will ask someone's opinion and go from there. I have done that quite often recently since I have wanted to try some new things.
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Yup, I suppose that's one way to get new experience.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 10
It works for me and keeps me from eating the same thing every time I go to the same restaurant.......I do eat out quite a bit. Haven't been steered wrong yet!
4 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
I do like surprises too (hopefully pleasant ones) when it comes to dining.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 10
I try to make a choice whenever I can. No one knows me like me and I don't usually like what other people like. I work in a place, too, where people just say "oh, give me whatever you think is right. . ." and I really can't choose for someone whom I've only known for five seconds. I don't think it's fair to ask someone who doesn't know you at all to make a choice for you. I wonder if some people do that because they don't want to be responsible for a choice they made that turned out to be something they're not satisfied with. When someone else makes a choice for them, then they can pass the blame on to that person.
4 people like this
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Well it is cool that you know yourself. Many don't... and for me, sometimes I think I know myself but then I am not sure anymore lolz. Oh well. Well the next time someone asks you to choose for him/her, take it as a challenge and help that person choose haha. It might just be fun.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 10
I thought my eyes were deceiving me for a moment seeing a discussion from you...lol. Nice to see you again..:) Now for your discussion topic, I usually make my own decisions, especially about what goes into my stomach....lol. But I can understand how some people might be overwhelmed and unable to choose. For instance, in a totally new environment when you have nothing familiar on which to base a decision you may loose your ability to make that specific choice. I will take a lot longer choosing whenever we happen to go to a new place to eat, not knowing how it is going to taste beforehand makes me a little slower in deciding what to eat. There is also the dilemma of making the taste buds choice acceptable with the contents of the wallet....:) I can also see this sort of thing happening to a lot of people when they are traveling and are exposed to many different and unusual choices. The adventurous eater probably can fare a lot better in that sort of situation. The not so adventurous eater is bound to hold up the line as you say. Embarrassment can also play a role in this sort of challenge because many people really are embarrassed to hold up the line and it just makes their ability to choose that much more difficult. Some people are very receptive to peer pressure and respond very badly when confronted with a forced decision, or when confronted with a choice between several unknowns. Making a snap decision when you already know the ultimate outcome is not as easy as making a decision based on unknowns. In many cases it is also an economic crisis because once you buy you can't give it back so you either have to eat it or leave it if you don't like it. In your example I would say that the woman later on down the line would be thankful to be able to blame the salesperson for her bad meal. It is of course easier on you to be able to blame someone else, responsibility is sometimes like a frayed knot...it unravels according to how much it is used. And to think this was only about food choices...lol. Life choices are a lot more complicated, but still there are people that abdicate in that area as well. Good day to you Lord and nice to see you again.
3 people like this
• Canada
12 Jan 10
Not me. When there is a buffet of some sort, I prefer to get my own choices, rather than have someone pick something out for me. I like to have what I want, not what someone else choses.
3 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
But it's a buffet! Eat everything!! Hahahaha
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
11 Jan 10
Long time no see. Welcome back! and I like to pick what I want and not let someone else do it for me specially in a place like this. and i usuaally get the noodles and not the rice.
2 people like this
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Hi Lakota, Thank you! Well it is good to know what you want and settle for nothing less. I hope it extends to beyond your food choice.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
12 Jan 10
of course goes with out say I dont let any one or anything make choises for me!
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
That's the way!
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
lol =D Nice comparison here, using mixed vegetable rice as example?? lol =D But i guess u are right too.. THere are many times in life whereby we choose to give up our choices, when we are 'spoilt' for too many options in front of us.. As such, when we get some help from others, to decide for us, we took it for granted it's the best for us, but in reality, we know that's not what we wanted, and yet we took it.. haha =D WHy?? Just because, we dun have self belief, and we trust others more than we trust ourself.. If anything goes wrong, at least, we have them to blame, andn ot ourselves.. haha
2 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Hi Kun, That was a true story. Yea I think we are really strange people. I have said to many friends many times that I really trust them and I have faith in them, etc. But gee, I hardly say that to myself!
2 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
What's up with the baby avatar btw? Did you get married finally?
2 people like this
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
13 Jan 10
lol =D It's just human nature!! Nope, it's just avatar, and i'm still very much the same.. haha =D
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 10
I'm the type of woman that knows exactly what she wants. I see this behavior with people everyday when I go to work. It is hard for me to let someone else choose for me. Like it was said earlier in the post. I would let people go ahead of me if I could not choose. I would not hold up a line. Of course I know you are not just talking about food. Some people need guidance on everything from what to wear to when should they come home.lol Another term I would use for these type of people is they are followers. They need to be told what to do. But I am a leader!!! Hummm....But then it's hard to be a leader if you don't have any followers.lol Great perception that you have! Touche'
2 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Wow wow wow, that's pretty assertive! It's cool that you have the leader type of personality. The world is chaotic as it is and it needs people like you. Oh lead us forward into the new age!!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
line em' up babe!!! one thing i can do is LEAD! power in numbers. give me positive people and i change this world or we can just all move to the same state.lol united we stand divided we fall.lol thank you so much for your kind words. i look forward to seeing you in the discussion arena. your topics are well thought out.
2 people like this
@flowerchilde (12520)
• United States
12 Jan 10
My hardest things to decide are the little choices, and sometimes yes, I am more than happy to have someone else choose! But on the biog things, no way, those choices are not so hard for me as I'm know my mind on those!
2 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Oh yes, flowerchilde, sometimes little choices are the toughest to make, haha!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (157587)
• Garden Grove, California
12 Jan 10
Hi lordwarwizard we do meet again hatley here I was gone for 11 months off the net then finally got back about three or four months ago. choices oh I like to make my own choices as when I was a kid my dad would always choose for me, and I vowed when I grew up I would darned well make my own choices. And I pretty much have even when in a place likeyou described I will push myself to decide before the line gets really long. When it comes to food I am hard headed and will not be pushed into buying food I do not like,luckily I do like most veggies but still I do pick my own.My hubby used to get so amused at me as I never let him order for me so I would just tell him what I wanted before we got into the cafe then he could order for both of us. I never wanted tohave my choices taken away from me. The lady who was having a hard time deciding should do what I do ,before getting in a line I will decide just what I want then by the time I reach the servers they Are told what I want and the line will not be held up., works good for me.
2 people like this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
So Patsie you went poof too, eh? At least it will become an open secret that no one can push you around.
1 person likes this
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
11 Jan 10
I can't believe how long it's been since I've seen you online here, I've missed your discussions. I think right now I'm going to turn the question back on you, and ask if you give up your choice often? You have me curious now. A lot of people can't seem to decide what they want, it's a lot easier to get someone else to make their decisions for them, It's everywhere, and definitely not just in the food department. Personally, It's about 50/50, I let my hubby choose sometimes haha. We're 2 people who have different tastes, sometimes the same, who could have what we wanted all the time but if that were the case we wouldn't be sharing meals, now would we? Things happen, sometimes you let others choose, but the most important thing is to know yourself to an extent and know what you like, and what you don't. I wouldn't let someone choose something that i don't like for me in a million years, especially if i was the one paying for it.
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Gee SpitFire, thanks so much, your words brighten up my day. Yea I have been on and off, the usual hehe. Me? I am such a passive person (though I have my limits of course). But I do turn assertive when I see a need to. If I am having meals with friends, I normally ask them to give suggestions (being considerate) and only say no if it is not something I want to eat. I would suggest when I do *feel* like eating something in particular. Otherwise, I just ride on the tide because it doesn't really matter where I go.
• Canada
11 Jan 10
Yeah it seems we follow the same choice pattern haha, No making others upset because they can't get their way unless we REALLY want something, and then it's more like (well, you know, This is actually really good, you should try it!) haha okay that's a little evil, i have to admit. There's times when i manipulate the minds of others to get my way when it comes to food, just because i love to eat! Okay I'll stop now. Haha. Glad your back, You always did get my mind buzzing there bud.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Yea, I don't see any point of pushing for something when I am really fine with either. That said, I do have friends who are really un-assertive. For those cases, I would just take the lead and decide (of course I would ask them but they would just agree anyway).
@esjosh (915)
• India
12 Jan 10
"You have to be very careful to get what you like (chosen) else you will be forced to like what you have got" I will prefer to leave the society and become a saint in the holy Himalayas, instead of being forced to like something. If it's a minor matter of getting a Bus, or dinner, seat in the office, berth in a train, choosing car, or buying some other thing then it's okey to adjust. But when it comes to some critical topic like, life partner or Job. then I never Give Up my choice.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Hi esjosh, That's one very apt quote you've got there. Insightful! You need money to get to holy Himalayas.
@esjosh (915)
• India
12 Jan 10
Oh no no I am did not intended to buy the Himalyas. I said I will go there and become a saint there. I did not say I will buy it. Ands I lives in INDIA, Himalaya is about 1000Kms away from here, and I can reach there for some thousands money.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Yea that was what I said - to get there... I never did say you are gonna buy it. Thousands be still money... many people don't even have any extra for gas to last one mile.
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
11 Jan 10
I like making my own choices. If I don't know what something is, I will ask and if I ask someone what they recommend, I ask them why and if something they say makes it sound 'not so good' to me, then I will choose something else. Someone that lets others make a choice for them may either not know what it is they want, don't care what they get or are too shy to speak up and say what they want. I always made my kids choose from the time they were very young, I would hold up two of something and ask which they wanted. I wanted them to be able to choose on their own because when I was young everyone else made my decisions for me and when asked what I wanted when I got older, I had no idea what I wanted.... Now I know exactly what I want and no one chooses for me.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
That's making prudent choices, nice. I think that is a very good style of parenting you have got, something many of us can learn from, teaching kids to be suitably assertive from the start. It's awesome really because few parents have the foresight to teach their children to be assertive (unfortunately ).
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
11 Jan 10
Thanks! My kids are now 21, 20 and 14 and none of them have a problem making a choice. When they were very young and would jump to a quick decision I would give them the consequences of both choices, I also wanted them to think first. I am glad I did it. I would also give them a list of things I would need at the store and MAKE them go in by them self. At first they didn't like it but got used to going in and doing things for their selves. One day, my daughter was maybe 12 years old, I sent her in the store to get magic markers for school and told her how much she could spend and when she came out she had bought two different kinds of magic markers and some colored pencils and a candy bar and had no money left. I made her take the markers back and only get what she wanted and made her share the candy bar with her brothers. She didn't like it very much but learned how to be responsible that way, too. (I think so, anyways)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Hey you should write a book on parenting. I think you are more than qualified.
@nimette (339)
• Philippines
21 Jan 10
almost every second we are presented with choices. walk or crawl, pee here or there, sleep, wake up, stay, go. mostly its our subconscious who makes these petty decisions, its kind of automatic. but the subconscious, if one is really in touch with one's own, decisions or making choices that we don't regret later whether big or small is quite easier.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
21 Jan 10
lol pee here pee there :P
@nimette (339)
• Philippines
21 Jan 10
lol. im a dog by the way..n_n
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17634)
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Wow...the first one insisted on someone to choose the type of chicken for her, LOL. Funny if you ask me. Sometimes, I like to make observations blatantly too, just to check out people's behavior and stuff like that. Certainly variously diverse. There are those really Kiasu ones, really vague people and those timid yet kind and many2x more. Generally saying...if you ask me, if I can't make a decision, normally in that kind of circumstance, I'll just give up my queue for others behind. I don't want to become like a 'barrier' just because I can't make my own decisions on what to eat and etc.. but sometimes, it's really hard to make a choice. Fast food is more clear cut, got set A, B, C and etc... LOL.
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
Yea! I thought that was really interesting. She *raised* her choice and repeated her "demand" a few times (a bit like a mad woman haha). Real story dude, I didn't make it up. Particularly when choose food at those economy rice stalls, I would first stand outside the queue, look and see if there are things I want to eat, then go queue. Or if the queue is "long enough", I would queue and gawk while queuing.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17634)
• Singapore
14 Jan 10
I know you are not making it up.. in fact, I have experienced more or less people whom are like that. Sometimes gawking helps and they will quickly make their selection or cut their crap, LOL..
• United States
15 Jan 10
oh buffet style? no,i never let others choose-i have a few food allergies and that could be dangerous for me.i'm more of the type to ask what's in everything (i kind of have to)..i try not to do it when there's a long line tho because i'd probably hold it up.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
15 Jan 10
So look around, choose then join the queue. That's what I do.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
12 Jan 10
When in a line of people,us being one of them, we often feel rushed to make a decision, afterall so many are behind us waiting,so we rush to make a decision , one we would not make had we had more time to think about it...Sometimes we are more concerned about holding up others ,rather than just taking our time..I have found myself in this situation a lot when i was younger...Now days i feel i have the right to take my time regardless of who might think i am slowing the process down...Its a matter of relaxing and not being anxious about what others are thinking....
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Hi slickcut, It's true, though sometimes I am not sure (at least for myself) if time will change anything. I am simply too passive but I digress...
@squaretile (3835)
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
That's an interesting incident you witnessed! I've never seen something like this. Ususally the zi char staff are harassed because the people are too picky - i want this piece of meat, not the other. I want the least burnt fried egg. etc etc. I suppose that woman might be having a tough day, and just wanted someone else to do the thinking for her. A more sinister view might be that this packet of food was for her maid and she couldn't be asked to make any choices. I've also read articles where career women who have achieved great things relinquish choice when it comes to domestic life. they just want the guy to be the guy for once and just make the decisions. they are too tired of being boss and just want to play the part of the 'small woman' for once. It's always nice to feel like you can sit back and let yourself be taken care of.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Zi char stall so expensive... you know, I rather dine at a restaurant than visit a zi char stall - I always feel they will rip me off big time. I guess that woman just can't delete. Maybe she wants to eat all 3 kinds of chicken hehe.
@ahgong (10086)
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
ha ha ha ha ha... Looks like it is happening in everyday life as well. All over the net, there is talk about locals being apathetic when it comes to politics. Now, we have cases of people being apathetic even in their own life. No wonder certain powers that be rule with such insolence!
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Life of a Sheep.
@anonymili (3140)
12 Jan 10
I prefer to make my own choices when it comes to food as it's my personal taste and really when eating out I would only trust my husband to choose something that he knows I would genuinely enjoy. I think when I was younger, say in my 20s, I might have asked my dinner companion to make a suggestion for me from the menu at a restaurant if it was new to me but I would still make the end decision. I guess I like to be in control of my own requirements. Recently having visited India, I went out to restaurants several times with my cousin and his wife and her sister, I noted on at least 2 occasions they asked ME to make choices for them from the menu which I felt uncomfortable with, even though I know them well and know they enjoy ALL types of food, I didn't want to make a choice for them which they might enjoy as much as something else but they kept insisting that I made the choice for them. Strange huh?
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Jan 10
Maybe they are just trying to be nice to let you choose the food items. I think when we dine out with someone often enough, we would gradually be able to know the some of the likes and dislikes of that person. But well, I digress.