By: Qasimi Redha
How many decisions do you think you make a day? Simply reading this means that you decided to click on the link when you saw it pop up on your feed — thank you!
Some Internet sources estimate that the average person makes up to 35,000 decisions a day. Even if that includes all the unconscious choices like looking left instead of right or mundane ones like sleeping an extra five minutes, it’s probably a bit of an exaggeration.
Nevertheless, it just underscores the fact that we make a lot of decisions — minor or otherwise.
When I was younger, one of my favourite children’s TV shows was Dora the Explorer.
I’m sure most people — whether they are my age or have kids still addicted to the cartoon — would know who Dora is.
Every episode, Dora, with her monkey friend Boots, would explore the world around her, facing a series of simple puzzles, mysteries and problems.
The show’s pre-school audience would have to deal with complex problems like how to cross rivers while standing right in front of a bridge, or deal with a sneaky fox named Swiper (hint: tell him to stop swiping).
But one of its charms is how Dora often breaks the fourth wall to directly ask its viewers what to do next: Even if the answer is right in front of them.
If only life could be as clear cut as that.
Choices have consequences
Have you ever thought about how a small decision might create a vastly different outcome? Or do you wish that you had the chance to undo certain choices that you regret making?
Imagine one day, you decide to take the MRT to work or school instead of your usual bus route. While boarding the train, you meet a person who turns out to be your future life partner.
Quite a big jump, huh? However, not all actions lead to such Hollywood conclusions.
Nevertheless, because we don’t have the luxury of going back in time, like Marty McFly in Back To The Future or the heroes in Avengers: Endgame, every decision we make sparks a chain of events that determines our future.
Every action, movement, and decision we make in our lives, no matter how small, has an impact on how events develop later. There’s even a phenomenon named after it: The Butterfly Effect.
That perspective can make life rather scary: So how do we make our choices?
I’ve always tried to subscribe to American motivational speaker Wayne W Dyer’s advice: “If you have the choice between being right and being kind, choose being kind.”
This quote has made me consider the influence of kindness on the lives of others.
You can make someone’s day with a small act of kindness – a smile to someone in a bad mood could turn their day around!
Not only that, kindness is a gift that goes both ways: the “receiver” feels less lonely, knowing that someone cares, while the “giver” feels a sense of joy, knowing that they have given comfort to someone else.
While there are times when choosing to be kind requires more effort, I believe that it is worth it, if that kindness is shared with an open heart — it will never bring about a negative outcome, even if the receiver rejects it.
So when you are at the crossroads of making a choice, choose the option that you would be proud of.
Meet The New Neighbour/s
That’s part of the reasoning behind our new interactive video called “The New Neighbour/s”, which you can try out yourself here.
It is the second interactive video that we’ve launched this year, after “The Dress”. In both videos, viewers are invited to dive into the plot of the story and make the choices to progress through different possible outcomes — like in the Choose Your Own Adventure type books or if you prefer, the Netflix interactive movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
What will you do if you see an unfamiliar face in your neighbourhood looking sad and she turned out to be your neighbour? Will you go out of your way to offer your help? Or not?
In the story, you take on the perspective of a young man called Nasri, who connects and stays in touch with his neighbours.
He meets a new face in his neighbourhood, Deepa, a senior who seems to be carrying a sad burden.
As the story progresses, other neighbours come into the story: Alex, a helpful handyman who lives on the same floor as Deepa and Nasri. Haslinda, mum of a tech-savvy son who lives in the unit upstairs. And Suresh, who recently returned from overseas.
Find out how these characters each play a vital role through the decisions that you make in the video.
Explore the different outcomes based on your choices. Unlike in real life, in this interactive video, you can go back in time and pick a different path if your first choice does not satisfy you.
Understand how your actions and decisions can show how a kinder you, through even the smallest act of graciousness, can make a stronger and greater us!