Posted in Life

Too many choices?

All I wanted was one jar of peanut butter. But the peanut butter section was all the way at the other end of the bread aisle in Walmart. In between me and that one jar were people pondering the hundred foot selection of bread. Everything was in stock that day: white bread, wheat bread, raisin bread, double fiber bread, butter top, sour dough, marble rye, high protein, low carb, and gluten free.

Blocking my way down the aisle were two types of people. The first couldn’t find what they wanted. The second couldn’t decide what they wanted. As I circled around an adjacent aisle to get to the peanut butter, I wondered, “Is it good or bad to have so many choices?”

On the one hand, it’s great. No matter what  flavor, texture, shape or nutrients you prefer, there is something for you. Want to try something different? No problem. There is always something new. On a tight budget? There are lower priced items on the bottom shelf. Counting calories? Some loaves have thinner slices.

On the other hand, it can be paralyzing. You only wrote the word bread on your shopping list. Will the store brand taste the same as name brand? Will the kids eat it if they see the word wheat on the wrapper? High fiber is good for you, right? Cracked wheat sounds good, but isn’t all bread made from wheat? I didn’t know they made oatmeal bread! Oh, wow, I haven’t had pumpernickel in ages. Look, there’s a buy one get one free. Before you know it, you’ve spent ten minutes pondering your bread purchase.

I am not one of those people. I know what I want, I’ve got a list, and I get in and out of the store as quickly as I can. I squeeze my way past many just wandering through the store overwhelmed by the selection.

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