Choose wisely

Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Coffee. I like it.

So, as I drank my first cup of the day, I decided to do an internet search related to this roasted bean beverage. The following are some of the more popular results:

• Top 11 Coffee Health Benefits.

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• 20+ Good Health Reasons to Drink Coffee.

• 75 Amazing Benefits of Coffee.

• 13 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science.

• 20 Health Benefits of Coffee and How to Get the Maximum Benefits of It.

• 7 Negative Effects of Drinking Coffee.

• 20+ Harmful Effects of Caffeine.

• 7 Negative Effects of Coffee.

• 9 Negative Side Effects of Drinking Coffee.

• 12 Health Benefits and 6 Disadvantages of Coffee.

Five articles are lists of benefits, four focus on the negative aspects of coffee, one lists benefits and disadvantages.

This got me to thinking about other things, and the amount of scientific, pseudo-scientific and opinion-based lists on these “other things.” Here are some of the results:

• Pros and Cons of Owning a Home.

• Positives and Negatives of Global Warming.

• The Positives and Negatives of Decisions by Committee.

• The Pros and Cons of Credit Cards.

• Pros and Cons of Buying Used.

• Positives and Negatives of Tourism.

• Positives and Negatives of Social Media.

And then there was my favorite:

The Pros and Cons of Pros-and-Cons Lists. This list from Harvard Business Review lists the pros as rigor, familiarity and simplicity, and emotional distance. Cons of the lists are that they tend to be biased by over-constraint, overconfidence and the illusion of control.

We’ve got to be careful when reading — or writing — lists of pros and cons for any major life choice. Any list we make is bound to be heavier on one side or the other because of emotion, even if we don’t see it that way at the time.

Wondering whether you should change careers? Whatever idea led you to consider it will be the deciding factor, unless you’re careful. The same applies to any other list. If I was wondering whether I should quit coffee, drinking a mug of the hot, delicious beverage is probably not the best time to make that list.

And no, I wasn’t wondering if I should quit. I’m not going to.

While we’re on the subject of lists, I see so many lists like “Movies you can’t afford to miss in 2019.” Really? Watch me.

I don’t decide what movies to see based on what critics say (if I did, I’d probably go see the ones critics hate), which ones are recommended by the average videophile website or which ones are bulleted in a list with a title saying I can’t afford to miss them. I choose based on story concept, actors or directors, trailers, recommendations from friends, my particular preferences and if I can literally afford to go see a movie. I have been right and wrong in movie choices. Oh, well.

Whatever choices you have to make today, make them wisely. Choose good things.

Like coffee.

Lifestyles editor Brett Campbell can be reached at or 601-265-5307.