Twice a week I go for a run. Well it’s more of a stagger to be absolutely honest. But it does serve as the recommended 20 minutes exercise that is supposed to be beneficial for us all. However the number of times that the excuse not to run pops into my head, and the attraction to delay the stagger round the neighbourhood till tomorrow increases exponentially as my pace decreases and my wheezing intensifies.
It’s the decision, you see, that is actually far worse than the run itself. Deciding to don the trainers and go through the front door is the critical phase. Once you’re on the road, it’s a matter of completing the couple of miles or so, and the glow afterwards of the achievement and the feel good factor makes it all worthwhile. Bottom line is, I go for a run or I don’t. Cut and dried. In or out. It’s up to me.
We all have to make many decisions every day of our lives. Not all of them personal, and certainly all of us have to make decisions that significantly affect others. Reaching a decision sometimes is often harder than the decision itself (to run or not to run, that is the question!), managing the consequences should focus on the process of implementing, application, effects and outcomes of that decision.
Should we have an inherent respect that the decision made ‘at the time’ was correct, hindsight may prove otherwise, and shouldn’t we respect that a decision was actually made?
It’s the non-decisions that irritate me. Passing the buck, moving paper around a table, delegating downwards, or sideways, avoiding responsibility seems to be more and more prevalent. Recent experience in the public sector has added to my view that the ‘it’s not my job attitude‘ is undermining the quality of services that we should rightfully receive. If someone on the inside makes the decision to highlight the issues (a whistleblower), they are often regarded as troublemakers, isolated and paid to stay silent.
The best example of non-decisions is seen every match day in professional football. How many times do you see shirt pulling, holding and blatant blocking off in the penalty area? Does the referee give a penalty? Countless times I’ve heard the pundit comment that “…if that was outside the box, it would have been a free kick.”
There are just 17 Laws of the game in football and in every single game I see on television now Law 17, The Corner Kick is broken. ‘The ball must be placed inside the corner arc’ states the FIFA procedure on Law 17. You tell me when you last saw that on a televised football match. Or more significantly when the referee or the assistant referee ‘took the decision’ to point out the infringement. Instead they ignore it. A non-decision. There would be a whole lot more respect in the game if football was played within the Laws.
Instead, our youngsters see this paraded on television, there is a tacit acceptance that everybody does it, there would be a penalty almost every 5 minutes and the game would be just a whistleblowing aria by the referee.
So what? The message would soon be grasped. These are the Laws. These are the standards we expect. Perhaps I should blow the whistle. I will make a decision. And if we all took that bit more responsibility, perhaps we would leave a legacy that might just be the example to set for the next generation. And the world would be a better place and football would be a better game.
It’s YOUR decision. I’m off for a run.