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Choices shaped by circumstances

link Clyde Davis

Local columnist

'With school looming on the immediate horizon, even more immediate for staff and faculty, it’s a fair time to revisit the question of quality vs. quantity, of accessible and easy versus slightly more value.

The question is one of optimum value, under the particular circumstances.

Example in context: Each summer we spend about a total of $10 for masks and swim goggles to be available to children who come to play in our pool during the hot months.

Are they the same as the masks Janice and I use for snorkeling, or the goggles Mikayla wears to swimming practice? No. I’d have to be seriously impaired to spend that kind of money on stuff that will get broken, misplaced, etc.

Another example in context: Last night, I was watching my granddaughter arrange and braid the hair on Josefina, her American Girl Doll; presumably Josefina is also getting ready for a new school year.

Josefina is a Hispanic girl from New Mexico, circa 1843. Little did I realize, until I went shopping and researching for Josefina that people who know about such things see a major qualitative difference between the stories and characters of “first generation” American Girl dolls, like Josefina, and the ones manufactured after the brand was sold to a major toy maker.

The original designer wrote amazing, well-researched stories about her characters such as Josefina, Addy and Rebekah, little girls growing up in pertinent times in American history. This helped clarify my choices. Since I believe play inescapably involves learning, the options were clear. The fact that Mikayla’s ancestral line on her Nana’s side stretches back to folks such as Josefina, on the New Mexico frontier, sealed the choices.

A final example: Our trip to the Black Hills didn’t occur particularly near to any major celebration; anniversaries and Janice’s birthday were well behind us, Christmas a distant event in the mind of everyone but big box stores. Those are usually the occasions reserved for major jewelry gifts. However, like the chance to buy a St. Croix silver bracelet for her last year, the chance to buy her a real, if reasonable, ring of Black Hills gold was too timely to pass up.

I don’t know about you, but in my world, finances have to be weighed and assessed. This isn’t really a column about why I am such a great husband for buying my wife a ring made from Black Hills gold. Nor is it a column about how it’s better to buy dollar store goggles with which to stock one’s pool.

It’s a column about how different choices are appropriate, guided and shaped by different circumstances. How we make those choices helps us grow as human beings.

Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis High School. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]