You are Free to Choose, But You Are Not Free from the Consequences of Your Choice.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this statement recently. Our choices, actions, and words have the power to affect our lives and those around us for better or worse. From being late for work and speeding through a stop sign, calling in sick for the big presentation when we’re not sick, or cheating on a partner, big or small, inconsequential or life-changing, everything we do matters.
Did you choose poorly? Make a very wrong choice? It’s ok. Life isn’t about being perfect or stuck in inaction being afraid of negative consequences. In fact, I’ve learned the most in my life from the mistakes I’ve made. These lessons are here to teach us so we can grow and do better.
Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things. — Bruce Barton
In today’s climate, it seems that there’s an even wider gap between us culturally, politically and, philosophically. It’s human nature to dig in when our beliefs are challenged. We can find ourselves acting out based on a perceived attack on our beliefs or ideas. It’s also very easy to get stuck in self-righteousness and blame.
But, we can also try something new to get a different response:
- We can choose to pause before reacting to that Twitter comment or sending that angry text.
- We can choose to be open to another’s opinion or point of view without interrupting or inserting our own opinion.
- We can choose to “play the tape forward” and get curious about how our words might land in someone else’s ear.
- We can intentionally learn about others’ points of view, and even if we disagree, find common ground as humans. (Hey! I love dogs, too! What kind do you have?)
- When we make the choice to interact with others with the intention of listening and connecting, we will discover that the feeling of being heard and understood is so much nicer than being “right.”
With every deed, you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Although we may not see (or even have any control over) the consequences of our choices, we can take ownership of our actions and responsibility for our mistakes, so we can grow and evolve. At every moment, we’re free to make a different choice…and therefore bring about a different consequence.