Why choose one activity over another? One of the most definitive aspects of identity, that bears the responsibility of being at the same time one of the aspects that may be determined consciously, is time allocation. The most definitive decisions usually occur at rites of passage and involve deciding what is it you’re gonna do the following portion of your life in terms of time and every other resource investing. Rites of passage are, hence, so important. They are accepted social time-spaces for defining and accepting -at least to the eyes of the social group- what an individual will be doing with his or her time for a while. Ad minimum, this is one of the functions of rites of passage, product of social and cultural dynamics that have made functionality an integral part of itself.
Choosing an activity is specific enough to be understood as a realisation of a complex process as is decision making. Be it complex by the plural aspects that are involved from the subjective perspective of the individual or as an inherent characteristic or result of social dynamics. Because choosing one thing or another is also an act of meaning: the individual will be portraying a meaning socially, while the social group and society in a macro-level has endowed the object and the subject with meaning. Sure, options A and B are a result of society per se, but a person may choose if he or she wants to do A, B, A and B or B and A, or neither. A person may also decide whether he or she says one thing or another and how he or she says it -tone-wise and energetically-wise-. Some more than others. Perhaps the same occurs with thought. A person is able of thinking about one thing or another, proactively and even reactively, pending a great deal of training or skill to do so. ” The power of the mind”, as the media, pop-culture, slogan goes, refers to this specific skill.
The ethics of Quality of Life provides a pragmatic framework and way of thinking that may be useful in decision making, problem solving, planning and research, among others. QOL may be observed to a certain extent, pending an always needed ethical commentary and critique. Those defining the milestones of QOL -be it scholars, politicians, institutions, priests and other community leaders- in the ideal way will be making decisions that will have “the best possible aggregate effect” (BPAE) and will take precaution on the side effects on related actors within the system and in other systems. The more people involved and potentially affected by the decisions in a hierarchical system, the less likely it will have the BPAE, even on paper. QOL investing should be managed at an optimal level, hierarchically. A strategic level where effects may be monitored and where technological and cultural endowment make the administrators of the QOL project agile enough to respond to the dynamic effects in different temporalities. Culture and technology are two levels where individuals and institutions may pragmatically design, monitor and reevaluate actions bound to have the BPAE on QOL.