Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making the Call

“I've been coming here every summer of my adult life, and every summer there she is oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling... smiling. I can't take this no more!”

“Make the call.” Said with an authoritative voice, the short command can add drama to any situation. Whether the Chief of Staff is prompting the President to order a strike or my dad is telling my mom to pick something from the menu as the waiter taps his pen on the pad, “make the call” always adds a sense of urgency.

“I’m going to make the call.” Said with anticipation and nervousness, this phrase brings up images of a high school boy calling the cute girl from math class who sits two rows across him. He’s going to ask her to prom, but he isn’t sure she will say “yes.” Mustering up enough gumption to ask the Wendy Peffercorn of your school deserves such a definitive statement.

“I have to make a call.” Sometimes, we have to make decisions. Sometimes, these decisions affect just us.  Other times, they affect others we don’t even know. The hardest decisions, though, are those we make that affect loved ones.

It’s interesting to me that no matter the scenario, “making the call” brings an issue to a head. The President is going to risk civilian casualties, Squints is going to jump off the diving board into the deep end, and a young man decides that taking a job far away from his family and friends is the best decision. When “making the call,” there is no hiding in aloofness or ambiguity. In a world where appeasing every side of an issue is a praised asset in many professions (we call it “political correctness”), we, by default, stray from “making the call.”