‘Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s’.
So says Joe Hunt in his recent adaptation of Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) – Baz Luhrmann’s spoken word song which in turn was based on a 1997 essay by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.
And while it’s impossible to be sure of the exact percentage – there is no doubt that the results of our choices do not always follow directly from the choice itself. There is an element of chance involved, as well as an element of the results of the choices others make around our choice.
That doesn’t make for a good story though.
Bill Gates once said that he and Steve Jobs will always get too much credit, because otherwise the story gets too complicated.
Because if you were to forensically go into all the choices that had to be made and all the people who made them in order for big technological breakthroughs to happen, you would most likely lose the majority of your audience. The story of the charismatic, smart and wise leader being the hero, the one responsible, is easier to digest and hence more readily told.
But it’s important to remember that its usually more complicated than that.