“Nothing happens in a vacuum in life; every action has a series of consequences, and sometimes it takes a long time to fully understand the consequences of our actions.” Khaled Hosseini
When you realize you have created a problem, how do you feel about it? What do you do to try to solve it? Do you ever choose to ignore it?
When I asked my readers to offer topics that correspond to letters of the alphabet, I thought only of the positive consequences. I wanted readers to know I take an interest in their concerns, and I thought that this process would also help me find new topics. The reality was that this month, I received so many interesting words that I couldn’t decide which to choose, but the first word I received was consequences. A timely word.
Just as I thought that was a good topic, I also thought, “Oh, dear, what if those who suggested words I don’t use feel hurt?” Clearly, when I set up this situation I had not thought it through. So, dear readers please know I appreciate every word you send and I will keep this list for the future. If your word wasn’t chosen, please continue to offer me new ideas each week.
Doing the Unexpected May Be Enlightening
In life, one thing leads to another. Until I made the choice to connect with a man on an online dating service, I had thought that was really a stupid thing to do. I was frustrated by not meeting men with whom I had much in common and with whom I connected in a meaningful way. So I decided to try it. That’s how I met the man to whom I am married, and he’s a perfect, caring partner for me.
Our Choices Create Consequences
On the other hand, one of the worst decisions I ever had made, created consequences that never end. Being a drama major in college, I was in a play where I played a seductive woman who sat at a table with a man and smoked. I had to fake the smoking and afterwards took extensive teasing about how I clearly I had no idea how to smoke.
Well, I didn’t want to experience that again, so I bought a pack and learned to smoke. I got hooked. Over the years I tried to stop many times and finally succeeded when I was around 50 years old. The result of my poor choice has been bladder cancer that reappears every few years. Fortunately, it was discovered before it caused serious damage and I am now on a schedule for regular check-ups.
The consequences of our actions may be positive or negative, and are not always about taking action. The result of inaction also affects us. At this time, wearing masks has been proven to help prevent getting the virus; yet, some people still ignore the scientific advice that could protect them because they see this protection as a sign of weakness.
Some people also ignore the help that the medical profession may give them for other reasons. Years ago, I had a very creative friend who had cancer but she refused to see a doctor. She didn’t want to know the truth. By the time her daughter convinced her to get help, she was in stage four. She died in a few months. I was angry at her for a long time for refusing help. Choosing a state of denial rarely leads us to a good outcome.
Our Responses to Consequences May Vary
Many people find the life they want to live in one place and stay there their whole lives. I can see so many advantages to this, but it has not been my path. While some may feel that my living in eleven different states led to a sad life or showed my inability to commit to one place, I believe it has made my life richer in many ways.
Living in different areas exposed me to various kinds of people and expanded my ability to understand and accept those who are different from me. Teaching teenagers stretched my ability to help them make good choices and understand the consequences of their choices.
Being a person of the mountains, both in Arkansas where I grew up and now living in the beautiful Blue Ridge area, I would never have chosen to live in the desert. I nevertheless moved there because I needed to live in a dry climate to get well. I was surprised by the beauty I found: the stunning red sunsets, the colorful cactus blooming, the fantastic art on the sides of buildings, and the beauty and community of Native American tribes. By learning to meditate, I found a peace I had never known.
We are often in situations where we have to guess at a wise response. The result of our choice will lead us to the next choice we have to make. And so life goes on. We do the best we can in the moment and consider the possible consequences, then live and grow with them.
May your choices lead to the best moments of your life. Wishing you peace and joy!
© 2021 Georganne Spruce