“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.” (Lois Bujold) – from a recent post on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
We all make decisions all day long, some of them leading to taking some action. We may sign up for something or maybe we respond to something. Perhaps we make the decision to say yes or no to some invitation or maybe we just get in the car and start off towards some destination. Sometimes we make those decisions and take those actions in haste. Many times we may not give a lot of thought to the consequences of those decisions and actions.
In addition to the consequences that one might expect from any action, there are usually some unintended consequences lurking about that also may result. As humans we get to use the phrase, “I didn’t mean to do that” quite a bit more than we’d like. That is usually the result of consequences from an action that was not well thought out or from unintended consequences that we just didn’t foresee. Our ability to speak and our rush to use that ability is often something that we take too little time to reflect upon before taking action. There is a great little saying about that which might save more than a few of us from the consequences of blurting out our opinions and thoughts.
Being a good listener is a choice, too. You might initially think that it is a choice to be passive, rather than to take action; however, choosing to listen is an action and one that is sometimes the best thing that you can do for the other person and for yourself.
But, what of the more active choices that we must make every day in life? For those I found an interesting little quote that is simple, yet maddeningly complex at the same time.
“Make the right choices for the right reasons and the right things will happen.” ― Charles F. Glassman
OK, that makes sense to me; but what are the right reasons that will lead me to make the right choices? We will never be able to always make the right decisions; but maybe if we start from the right frame of mind we will do a bit better on more of those choices. LJ Vanier had the right idea when he said:
“I don’t always make the best choices, but today I choose compassion over intolerance, sympathy over hatred and love over fear.”
Perhaps if we start each day making some choices like those that Vanier stated we will end up with fewer bad or unintended consequences in life. Maybe the best way to achieve that frame of mind is to start each day with a little prayer and ask the Lord to help you make the decisions that you must make that day with those choices already in mind. Just taking the action to start your day with a prayer will itself result in amazingly positive consequences.
Have a great and consequential weekend!