Not sure if it freaks you out, but …
Have you gone to a restaurant that has a b’squillion dishes in the menu? So, when you order, you find yourself saying something like, ‘Can I order number two hundred and forty one please?’ Question – who in their right mind gives someone 241 choices when they sit down to eat?
It reminds me of the takeaway scene in the movie ‘Dude, Where’s My Car’ (sorry, I know). Pulled up at the Chinese ‘drive thru’ Jesse, Chester and friend ask for three orders of garlic chicken. The voice from the intercom asks, ‘And then?’. Jesse responds, ‘And then, three orders of white rice’. The voice, ‘And then?’. Jesse checks with his friends, ‘And then, … three orders of wonton soup’. ‘And then?’. Jesse – ‘Oh … and some … fortune cookies too’. ‘And then?’ Jesse – ‘Yep … that’s about it’. ‘And then?’ ‘No … that’s it!’ ‘And then?’ … ‘No ‘and then”.
After every effort to end the order, incessantly the voice from the intercom asks, ‘And then?’.
If, as Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen suggests, the real goal of development is to expand a person’s freedoms, then increasing a person’s ability to choose must be seen as an intrinsic part. Ironically, in many parts of the world we are drowning in choice, option and preference while others have little or no choice at all. Poverty, violent conflict, sexual slavery, disease, despotic regimes all leave people with very few options.
Justice, education, economic opportunity, political freedom, … safety, medicine, food, water – not optional extras, the right of every human being.