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Debating Choices - A Challenge

Posted Dec 10 2008 1:06pm

   You're sitting in your local coffee shop - or maybe your favourite restaurant - with your friends, family, or by yourself. Around you, the hustle and bustle of life proceeds with a lack of caution and you are content in the moment, in your otherwise normal life.

   Perhaps you are reading a book, chatting with a group of friends, people-watching or nagging your children to sit still. You are checking your blood sugar level before indulging in the Grande Tazo Chai Latte in front of you. Or stressing over your latest project at work. Maybe you are sitting low in your chair trying to figure out how you're going to pay next month's rent, or attempting to understand why you, of all people, had an abnormal biopsy. And what you are going to tell your mother, your father, your children, your husband, your wife.

   Out of the corner of your eye you notice a distinguished gentleman, dressed nattily in a three-piece suit, walking with leonine grace toward you. In his hands, a supple leather briefcase; on his head, a groomed cap of silver hair.

   He stops by your side (perhaps you try to ignore his presence, or you look at him with some inkling that fate is stopping at your door like a train on a dark night) and apologizes for interrupting you. His voice is cultured and you peg him as some eccentric billionaire - your instinct more correct than you ever could've imagined. He introduces himself, says that he has a business proposal for you.

   What is your first reaction? Do you wonder at his rudeness, maybe speculate as to whether he carries an anti-psychotic agent in that briefcase? And why on earth would he be coming up to you, some normal (or abnormal) Joe who outwardly shows no distinction from the others around you?

   Maybe you offer him a chair, or leave him standing at your side as he qualifies his statement. He tells you that he has, at his disposal, more money than most people can dream of. And that - for personal reasons he will be divulging in the near future - he has decided to use that money to improve the quality of life for thousands, maybe millions, of people. He asks that you believe him, that the proof of his claim lay safely in the briefcase by his side.

   What do you do? Do you tell him to take his crazy ideas and get lost, or do you invite him to share his story while you listen with cynicism, or perhaps excitement?

   At your affirmative, he continues. In his rich voice he spins an amazing story, a story that he substantiates by pulling sheet after sheet out of his attache. You learn that he has assembled a group of scientists, doctors, biologist, psychologists and specialists who are notarized for their achievements and intelligence worldwide. And, with that arsenal and his own practically unlimited access to money, he wants to eradicate disease.

   And he, in his infinite wisdom, saw you sitting here surrounded by normalcy and chose you to lead his team. You, he says, will direct the team that I have assembled and decide how they focus their energies. How our money and manpower are spent. You will be the hero, he says, that millions of people will bless when their lives are changed for the better.

   All you have to do is say yes, the gentleman tells you softly. But there are limitations to this project's omnipotence - consequences, if you will - that you will only learn once you have agreed to my proposal. You may think on it for a moment, and I will wait for your 'yes' or 'no' patiently here.

    So the first question, now, is this. Would you accept? If, in reality such an opportunity was presented to you, would you take the responsibility of his mission not knowing what the full implications of your job?

   Perhaps you say no, you err on the side of caution and self-preservation; you walk away from this choice. But what if you don't? What will this bring if you say Yes...

   At your affirmative, a soft smile comes to his face, maybe one that is tinged lightly with sadness. With a sigh, he drops the other shoe.

   The unfortunate impediment of this project is that, in spite of our vast resources, we are limited to only curing one disease, one infliction, one blight upon humanity. One, and only one. And you have been chosen - and have agreed - to decide which disease will be eliminated. And you, and only you, will be held accountable for the success - and the repercussions - of your choice.

    Obviously the question now is what would you choose? And, from that question, comes a million more. Why would you choose that? And how, in the face of the thousands of people whom you chose not to choose, would you justify your choice?


   This is a variant on a question that I have, many many times, discussed with other Diabetics and non-diabetics. It makes a great discussion in Support Groups. If you had the choice, tomorrow, to cure any disease, which would it be and why? However, this is not just a scenario intended only for Diabetics; it can apply to anyone, anywhere.

   Choices are not black and white. It is not just a matter of saying, upon reflection, "Yes, I'd choose not to have Diabetes" or "No, my fight with Cancer gave me an innate inner-strength and I would not choose another path". It is not that easy, nor is anything that easy realistic.

   So, I am challenging you now. The "Diabetes OC"; if you have a blog or are someone who lurks out there without a blog; whether you are Diabetic or not; if you have a chronic disease or are in perfect health. If you have an opinion, make a choice.

  Stand up, right now, and give your opinion. Say yes or walk away. Choose the disease that you would cure. Make a choice and then defend that choice .

    Given enough responses, I will be adding the second part to this debate, which involves the distinguished gentleman disclosing his reasons for setting up this project and choosing you, a single person, to be the decision-maker.

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