Imagine asking a child if they want a chocolate bar. If you have a child then of course you should feel free to actually ask them if they want a chocolate bar. This isn’t entirely scientific but presumably they’ll answer either yes or no. It’s pretty straightforward to a kid, either they want a chocolate bar or they don’t.
Say the child does want a chocolate bar. Have they considered the consequences of that decision? Are they aware of the health risks associated with obesity, for instance? Is chocolate a gateway food to family-sized buckets of fried chicken and XXL pizzas with dozens of toppings? What if the pasteurisation process didn’t quite go as it should and they fall ill? What if it turns out that they don’t even like chocolate? What if they’re seriously lactose intolerant?
Perhaps the child doesn’t want a chocolate bar. It seems unlikely but suspend your disbelief for a second. Maybe that purchase would’ve kept the vendor in business for another day. Maybe there was a prize promotion on the wrapper with a huge cash reward attached. Maybe, just maybe, not eating it resulted in a calcium deficiency.
We all know that actions have consequences but it isn’t always easy to foresee them. Substitute the child for an adult and the thought process will most likely be very different. There will probably be a conflict between heart and head which may alter the outcome. Change the chocolate bar to membership of the European Union and things get more bewildering than the day Marathon turned into Snickers.
The EU referendum, of course, is a hot topic (see what we did there?). The result will have repercussions for decades to come, and yet most of us are in no way equipped to make an informed decision. We’ll vote with our hearts or with our heads and then we’ll hope we made the right choice. Of course we’ll never know if we did because we’ll never tread the other path. But we’ll have to live with the choice we made for better or worse. Good luck with that. Wasn’t life easier when you were a kid and all you had to do was decide if you wanted chocolate?