So Many Choices

A friend and I were talking the other day about the abundance we have in this country. But also about the discontent that everyone has. We have more stuff, more choices, yet everyone wants more.

Diet Coke

Diet Coke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reason for this discontent is that we are constantly bombarded with images of all the wonderful things that will make our life complete. And we buy it. Literally.

I’ve talked to a missionary home on leave–this is an American citizen–who was overwhelmed by the choices in deodorant. My cousin lives in China. When she came back home she had the same problem trying to buy bread.

I’m grateful for our abundance, but I wonder if we wouldn’t be happier if things were simpler.


 I am listing some areas where we have too many choices.


~ Dining out – the number of restaurants and the selections on the menu.


~ Grocery stores – people used to just go to the mom and pop store on the corner.


~ Shampoo – thick hair? thin hair? Lavender or citrus?


~ Pop – Coke, diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Lemon Coke, or Pepsi? I’ll have root beer.


~ Automobiles – four door? Two door? What color? How many horses? What options? Gas or hybrid?


~ Mascara – longer lashes or thicker lashes? Brown, black or blue? waterproof or not?


 ~Cereal – it has its own aisle!


~ Toothpaste – flavors, textures, fluoride or no fluoride, gel or paste?


~ Bras – underwire? wireless? padded? pink, blue, purple, black? straps or no straps? seamless?


~ Cooking utensils – rice maker, wok, steamer, bread machine, crock pot, tortilla press….


~ Medications – aspirin, non-aspirin, aspirin substitute, cough with cold, cough without cold, fourteen kinds of allergy medicine that all do the same thing.


 ~Churches – type of music? Elders or deacons? Tongues or no tongues? Liturgy or no liturgy? Dressy or casual? Denomination?


No wonder Americans are so stressed out! We spend all our time making decisions and we don’t even realize it!
(This was originally published at on June 14, 2007)

2 thoughts on “So Many Choices

  1. I live in American society and do many consumer-oriented things. However, my wife and I are odd people, because we don;t do a lot of typical American, consumer-driven things. We live in a small place and do not own a lot of material things, but complain, “Where did all this stuff come from?” So, there is a large part of me that would enjoy being able to get rid of more things and find a small plot of land with a small house an grow a lot of our food.” Lord willing, I can get back to the basics, without too much pain.”

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