During a concert I watched on television, a close-up of the French horn section caused me to remember an event in my life. This had a significant impact on my future, surely contributing to where I sit today.
When I was in junior high school, one teacher suggested that I learn to a musical instrument. For some reason, which I cannot recall, the French horn was in discussion. I think the thing that saved me was that my parents could afford/did not want to buy one. Maybe it was simply my aversion to the discipline needed to learn to play. I preferred sport, so spent my time playing hockey. That put me on a different path in life.
Thoughts about decision causing one to take a fork in the road of life caused me to recall another decision, which seemed simple and straight-forward at the time, but had an even more significant impact on my future. Upon arriving a private school in the first year, I had to choose a sport: football, soccer, or cross-country running. For some reason, I wanted to play football. Again, the decision came down to money. I would have to buy football shoes. My parents wanted me to use hand-me-down soccer shoes, so the decision was made. This led me to having certain friends and to choosing lacrosse over baseball in the Spring. I went on to excel in college at lacrosse: it would have a mediocre baseball player.
So, a French horn and a pair of shoes had significant impacts on my life...
The word today is Vielfalt, which means variety or diversity.
This word came to mind as I was considering the list of magazine links offered by one of my favorite websites: Arts and Letters Daily (http://www.aldaily.com/). I read only three or four on a regular basis. It was followed by the same thought when considering the number of cartoons in the Washington Post (I follow only three). One does not have time to read all...or even click on them.
It is not new information that people in advanced countries are confronted with too much choice in all aspects of life. The Internet has made it easier to find more stuff, which makes the choice more difficult. Shopping, regardless of the category, requires self-discipline and the ability to make a decision. Neither are easy. I have a particularly difficult time in a bookstore...because I want too many. Only shopping for breakfast cereal is easy: I select only those without sugar-coating or sugar content (If you don't believe me, read the label), of which there are but a few.
Citizens of the Soviet Union had it easier in that respect. Choice was limited; people must have been happy to have whatever they could have. And, although poor, they were not confronted every day in shop windows or in advertising with a wide variety of products that they could not afford.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.