Jackoatsmon's Blog

August 18, 2009


Filed under: Musings,Stories,Terry Pratchett — jackoatsmon @ 3:53 pm

Excerpt from “The Fifth Elephant” by Terry Pratchett (one of the best writers of fantasy humor I have ever read).

In this scene, the lead character, Commander Vimes, is having his first conversation with the King (to be) of the Dwarves.

‘In here is a record of every marriage, every birth, every death, every movement of a dwarf from one mine to another, the succession of the king of each mine, every dwarf’s progress through k’zakra, mining claims, the history of famous axes . . . and other matters of note,’ said a voice behind him. ‘And perhaps most importantly, every decision made under dwarf law for fifteen hundred years is written down in this room, look you.’

Vimes turned.  A dwarf, short even by dwarf standards, was standing behind him.  He seemed to be expecting a reply.

‘Er, every decision?’

‘Oh, yes.’

‘Er, were they all good?’ said Vimes.

‘The important thing is that they were all made.’ said the King.

This part of the story stuck me when I first read it and it still remains with me.  We are faced with decisions each and everyday of our lives.  From simple ones like what are we going to have for breakfast to major ones like whether to continue with our current job.  It would be nice if all the decisions that we make are good ones.  (I wish all of mine were.)  It would be nice if we had all the time in the world to deliberate and ponder before we make a decision but unfortunately, that is not possible either.  Many times, we try to put our decisions off on the basis that the problem will solve itself.  Sometimes that is true and I have to admit I do take this way out at times.  More often than not however, I feel that we have to face the reality before us and make the best decision we can based on the facts before us.  Perhaps it may be the wrong one but at least it was made which I feel is better than leaving things in limbo.


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