Monday, March 2, 2009


I have an entire set of Laurie-isms gleaned from a half century of living, loving, working and parenting. I'll have to post the entire list someday, but today I'm focussing on this one: "The hardest choices in life are between two goods."

I think most of us can agree that the average person has the polar opposites of the good and evil struggle conquered. That is to say, I doubt many of us wake up in the morning and wonder if we'll feel inclined to burn and plunder a small village, rob a bank or murder our neighbor on any given day. (I mean really. . . ) And while we may occasionally still struggle with the "you-must-be-forty-two-inches-or-taller-to ride-this-ride" clause at Disney when a sad-eyed grand child really REALLY wants to ride the Indiana Jones venue, I still believe that most of us are honest, caring, and good, truthful people.

But put two good choices before us . . . two demands that each have merit and require our simultaneous attention, and we struggle. We want to be perfect parents, build the Kingdom of God, assist aging family members, magnify our talents, be helpful neighbors, and save the Democracy. And even though we know logically that we can't be in two places at one time, nor make funds appear where they don't exist, more often or not, (and particularly if you are a woman), you will have guilt no matter which you choose when a choice between multiple goods must be made.

Some of these choices will barely leave a blip on the radar of our lives, but some are pivotal. And most seem pivotal at the moment of decision. It's these human struggles that make good drama and therefore, good books. Good books I have circling in my brain but which are denied landing privileges on paper because I am experiencing some of the aforementioned struggles between multiple goods. And so it is that as soon as I set a goal to write my next book in ninety days, nary a word has been typed.

I used to think that all of these interpersonal struggles would get better when my family was grown. Not so. Who we are and how we love when our children are small pretty much sets the pattern for the rest of our days. And so we'll do our best to be "Wonder-Man or Woman". Sometimes we'll hear the Still Small Voice and follow, striking the perfect balance that leaves all involved parties content. Sometimes we'll disappoint. In those cases I'm so grateful for the Atonement that covers disappointment and guilt as well as sin.

All in all, I'd like to think we'll be given an "A" for the effort invested in trying to do what's right. But now it's time to "suit up" for a new adventure. I wish us each well as we head off to save our individual corners of the world.

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