The Science Of Choice

Do you remember this scene from the “House of Cards”: Donald Blythe, a well-grounded republican, refuses to make a pact with Frank (the biggest manipulator of all), shooting bulletproof arguments why his decision makes sense? In fact, it does. What does Frank do to get what he wants? – Uses the most powerful weapon in decision-making process – emotions! He shows “sincerest “ concerns about his wife’s health, gives a couple of sympathetic pats on the shoulder – the deal is sealed.

My husband is a Frank in the way he uses my emotions to reach what he wants. He always smashes my logic, like a rotten tomato; kills my gnostic mind and pulls out my Christian heart. A couple of years ago I decided to extend our family by purchasing a cat. He, on the other hand, wanted to adopt. Anyhow, a logical me wanted to have a Chartreux pedigree kittens. I brainwashed him with endless “101 Pets” videos in YouTube, reasoning that one day we might build a Chartreux Empire, raising fluffy cute cheetahs.

When he finally gave in, we started our search: sent loads of emails to proud owners of blue-blooded animals, zombied the brains with “aw, so sweet” pictures. Somehow we managed to trap into an animal traffic scheme. A guy with an authentic Portuguese name Miguel and incredibly bad writing skills sent us heart-melting pictures (he obviously mastered the science of mind control games). He said that the animal would be transferred from Switzerland as soon as we pay the fee for its move…through Western Union… his office was in Cameroon! I felt so disappointed and the whole purpose seemed meaningless.

That’s when my emotional stimulator stepped in: shoved the sites of shelters, dared my moral values. “Don’t you want to give home to a poor abandoned child?!” – he said. “ They also need our care and love, poor souls!” – he repeated. I lost my shields, and the emotional me made a decision: “We will adopt!” The next week we had Gaspar.

Gaspar - the product of our emotional choice
Gaspar – the product of our emotional choice

He was wrapped in yellow dirty covers and he was full of snot. Three years later we are happy to be the parents of a smart, loving and grateful street cat. We give him love, care, food and house. He gives us way more: gentle morning head bumps, endless loyalty and the essence of home.

Most of my best shots in life involved an emotional platform. My husband, places we lived in, my jobs – all those were the signals from the subconscious that told me a lot about what I really choose.

Sometimes we create a perfectly tailored argument. We are proud with its shape and possible outcome. And how many times those ideal solutions crumble before a begging homeless, a crying Mom or a toothless smile of a child?! Does it make us more vulnerable and open to manipulations? – Maybe so, but we enjoy an emotional choice way more than logical, even if we sour it with regrets. There is always a moment of a triumph, which we would never experience using a logical path. We feel like burglars breaking the rules.

Fear of dating outside the norms, refusal to hire tattooed manpower, standardisation of lives, choosing society approved professions or excluding a mongrel from pretentious competitions – those are the limits we create by false logical norms, which lead to wrong choices. The term “logical” is quite vast and antithetical. The meaning of the term has been manipulated ever since its creation. I guess the most lucid thing of all is to follow you gut and embrace emotional choices.

The whole world stops for a second. You open your logical clenched fist; suddenly everything becomes clear: there are no spectrums of good and bad, no “either… or” constructions, no judgments, no superstitions. The puzzle is solved.

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