Buridan’s ass-Can you make a decision?

Once upon a time, there was a donkey. One day, it walked, it was hungry to the extreme. Suddenly it was surprised to find that two identical piles of grass were present in front of it. It was happy, but it didn’t know which one to eat. It looked around, hesitating, after a long time, it did not eat any of the piles and eventually starve to death.

After reading this, do you think that the donkey is stupid? It can choose any pile of grass to eat, is this difficult to choose?

In fact, this is the famous Buridan’s ass named after 14th-century French philosopher Jean Buridan.

And this fable is used to describe those who are indecisive. Later, people often referred indecision as the “Buridan effect”, the donkeys eventually starved to death, leading to their ultimate tragedy because they do not want to give up, do not know how to make decisions.

indecisive story of wheat field

There was a man in ancient Greece named Socrates. One day, he led several disciples to the edge of a wheat field. It was the harvest season, and the fields were full of smoldering wheat spikes. Socrates said to his disciples, “Go to the wheat field and pick one of the largest wheat spikes, you can only move forward, I will be waiting for you at the end of the wheat field.”

After the disciples understood the teacher’s request, they went into the wheat field.

The field is full of wheat spikes, but which one is the largest? The disciples buried their heads and walked forward. Look at one, shake their head, look at another one, and shake their head again. They always thought the largest spike will be ahead. Although the disciples also tried to pick a few spikes, but not satisfied, and threw it away. They always thought there were so many opportunities that there was no need to decide too early.

The disciples walked forward and picked and chosen with their hearts, and it took a long time.

Suddenly, Socrates’s voice like a bell: “You already reach the edge of the wheat field.” At this time, the empty-handed disciples like just woke up from a dream, they looked back at the wheat fields, countless wheat moving around, seemed to be regret for them.

Socrates said to his disciples, “There must be one wheat spike in this wheat field that is the largest, but you may not be able to meet it; So the largest wheat spike is what you just picked.”

Socrates’s disciples listened to the teacher’s words and realized the truth: our life seems like walking in the wheat field but also searching for the largest spike. Some people see the grain-rich “wheat spike”, they take it off without losing the opportunity; Some people look around, lose the opportunity. Of course, we should always pursue the largest, but the wheat spike in the hands is the reality.

In life, many people have this condition. This is what we call indecisive.

People who can’t make decision, mainly because they do not know how to give up, do not understand the truth of giving and caused boundless trouble. 

In life, small to eat and dress, big to professional choice, everything needs to make a decision. But how do we choose? How do we choose the right one? How can we maximize the benefits? When we have these questions, we usually have some symptoms of indecisiveness.

I think a big reason for indecisiveness is people’s indecision and lack of decision-making skills. Be a determined and decisive person, do not regret not making any choice. When you are indecisive, the time has slipped away from your hand. Sometimes, whether you choose or not, the road is always there.  The road is not prepared for the indecisive, but for the determined and courageous.