Is Indecisiveness ever Good?

30 09 2008

Being an Asian-American, it seems that I can claim credibility in discussing the subject of indecision. Asian-Americans are well know for loitering, hanging out in public spaces in large groups. I don’t know what a non-Asian thinks when they observe this phenomenon but I can tell you as an insider, it actually has little to do with sociological tendencies of a collective culture, at least for us younger generation. It’s actually more a product of indecisiveness. When you see a group of young Asian-Americans just hanging out in a public space, more often then not, they just don’t know what their next activity or destination is.

Such indecisiveness does allow time for more conversation with one another without the business of an ongoing activity. But how about indecision in one’s life? This extends outside the Asian cultural spectrum and reaches the younger yuppie culture of our time. The yuppies of this generations have many job or career changes and many more graduating college students are clueless as to what they want to do with their lives. You will meet very few college students with conviction and a drive to a goal. Why are we like this? Sociologist and journalists say that it’s due to the plethora of career choices that are laid in front of our generation. The mantra of “you can be whatever you want,” rings common in our age. But that’s an extraspective analysis. What about an introspective analysis as to why this is so prevalent? Well, that depends on each individual’s desires and is unanswerable in this entry (to long to attempt here).

If those questions are too daunting then how about the simpler one of: Is indecisiveness ever good? I can imagine most people saying “no” and for those who would say “yes,” quite honestly I don’t know why they would. So if indecisiveness is bad, then must we all always know where we are going, what we are to do next? I will have to say “no.” Indecisiveness is observed as negative not because of its behavior manifestation of loitering or chilling (whether you want to put a positive or negative spin on it), but because of the motivation that causes it. If one fears the outcome of a decision (fear to take responsibility), then they can become indecisive. But there is something that looks similar yet intrinsically is entirely different. Dependence. Dependence can cause a similar behavioral manifestation of hanging out. If a group of people trusts one person, possibly the leader or organizer, who has the next agenda set, then, they can chill in a public location knowing that they will eventually arrive at the next location though they individually are not aware of the specific details.

So for people standing at a juncture in their lives, and standing with out a specific conviction towards a specific path, I guess we can ask, “Is our life loitering a result of indecision or dependence?” And if you know, then I’m sure you know what the next appropriate question is.

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3 responses

1 10 2008
donaldkim

Interesting take. But the “sociological tendencies of a collective culture” has some credence and still ring true when describing the Asian-American identity. Granted, there is a lot of indecisiveness amongst Asian-Americans, but even those who are in seminary or graduate school just in general tend to fall into this behavioral pattern. Those who are driven in life, those who “have it together,” are all wanting to feel some belonging within this communal setting.

1 10 2008
donaldkim

Oh yeah. I forgot to add… your thoughts, Paul?

1 10 2008
Paul Park

i think you are entirely correct. I must agree that everyone desires to belong. And I think that is the deeper desire that leads to the fruit of indecision or dependence. People are indecisive because they want to belong (either by spending time with others idly or avoiding the possibility of having an opinion rejected). My entry was analyzing more on a cursory level. Thanks for the thoughts.

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