I had pretty much long ago abandoned all hope of finding a sure-fire, ironclad, infallible method of making decisions. But last week, like all serious-minded Americans, I tuned into “The Decision,” the most eagerly awaited television extravaganza of the century. It wasn’t just any decision, but “The Decision,” and the decision was where LeBron James would take his talented Kingship in the coming basketball season.
As it turns out, the show was a total cringer, with a distinctly uncomfortable King James onstage knee to knee with a fawning interlocutor with a bad hairpiece, while in the background sat clean-cut kids on the edge of their seats, eager for The Decision that would change not just their lives, but the mortal lives of kids yet unborn or even unconceived.
The adoring host asked King James how he was sleeping, and if he still bit his fingernails, and at one point seemed on the verge of being so bold as to inquire whether His Majesty might graciously allow him the privilege of kneeling down before him to suck his scepter.
The Decision turned out to be a big anti-climax, given that information leakage had already left its stains all over the Internet, newspapers and cable TV. Nevertheless, the show provided invaluable information on how the grubby mobile vulgus should approach any big decision. King James laid it out very clearly, and whether the decision template came from his own cerebral cortex or the hindquarters of some PR lackey is, for our purposes, irrelevant.
The two most important elements of any decision, as exemplified by The Decision of LeBron James, are what your mom thinks and how it affects the Kids. For a mnemonic, think MOTHER K, which comprises both Mom and Kids, as well as the other five decision-making elements: Opportunity, Team, Happy, Education and Religion, making seven (a magic number) in all. LeBron obviously kept the MOTHER K acronym in his pre-frontal cortex during his soothing massage on ESPN, or “interview,” if you prefer. Mom was naturally prominent and was often paired with one of the other elements, as in, “My mother told me, do what makes you happy.”
LeBron’s happiness was central to his decision, just as yours should be to yours, no matter how it affects anyone else. Also consider Opportunity, Team, Education and Religion, all of which LeBron touched upon in his rather down-at-the-mouth recitation of how he made his Decision. But undoubtedly more important than all of these elements, however, and more important than even Mom, is the element of Kids.
There were Kids all over the place, Kids in the audience and Kids outside the Boys & Girls Club where King James announced his historic Decision. At the end of the show, King James had another big announcement, which was that proceeds from all the ads on his show would go to Kids, and other Kids would be awarded scholarships for being Kids.
The big mistake Tiger Woods made when he went public with his decision to enjoy the fruits of his success and take his talents on a worldwide bimbo tour was to ignore Kids. He did acknowledge his Mom, and even went down into the audience to give her a hug, but people might not have been so mad at him had he surrounded himself with Kids when he did his own PR thing. (One problem could have been people looking too closely at the Kids to see if any of them looked like Tiger.)
Despite the Kids Factor in LeBron’s Big Decision, people are still unhappy with him. In fact, people are madder at LeBron than Tiger, which shows that it’s worse to leave your team than cheat on your wife. Sometimes you just can’t win.