The Consequence of Choice

Choices.  That is what our lives are full of, every moment of every day.  Thousands upon thousands of choices.  We make the choice to get out of bed every day when we could choose to stay there, warm underneath the covers.  We choose to get online, go for a walk, play a game.  We choose...

We choose to be alive.  We choose to talk to people or even make that step towards the bathroom.  We choose which noises to ignore as "just another noise the house makes."  And yet many of us don't think about the consequences of our actions.  So many people don't stop for a moment to consider what could or will happen if we choose to do one thing over another.

So many of us choose to ignore that every choice has a consequence, that every step will ripple and force a reaction from something else.  It's as if we, as humans, are walking half-blind through our lives, acknowledging some consequences of our actions or ignoring others.  It's almost a sort of pseudo-ignorant veil that we cover our faces with, trying to ignore the fact that, sometimes, the things we do affect people more than we know.

Why don't abusive parents stop to consider what their actions today will cause their children to be like tomorrow?  Why do some parents beat their children for failure and fail to notices their successes?  Why are some never good enough for their parents?

I look at myself every day, amazed that I walked away from my childhood the way I did- especially when I consider the fact that there are serious gaps in my memory, in one case over a year aside from a very few still-frame images burned into my mind.  Most of these gaps, when I talk with my family about them, I find are some of the more painful memories of my childhood.  I look at my past and I can see how many of the choices that myself and others made have affected me, but there are so many more that I haven't realized the consequences of, be they from choices of my accord or ones that others made.

There are choices that I make every day that I sometimes feel like I should know what will happen but, somehow, fail to.  Some choices have consequences that I may not understand or notice until many years down the road.  Why is it so difficult for some people to even think about the scope of which their actions can ripple, let alone see how it affects the people they know?

Then again, some just don't care.

What we, as humans, dismiss as our nature often baffles me, and yet I still strive to understand it.  Maybe some day I will, but for now, I find myself at a loss for any other word than "why?"


  1. I love you and hope I did not contribute to your youthful discomfort

  2. No, you didn't. My memories of being around any of my grandparents are fairly good. Unfortunately, my issues from then were cause on a more "local" level that, at the moment, I would rather not get into, though I know I will need to at some point.

  3. Make that a second one who loves you. We all have parts of our past that, if we could, we would eradicate. But those things are part of what made us who we are. They may not have been "good" or "right," but your strength, independence, sense of good vs. evil all come from those early challenges. We can't change the past, but we can learn from it, we can take pains not to repeat it, and we can help others to learn from our experiences. You are a dynamic person and I love you. I also appreciate your support of us! Continue to rise above the crap, no matter who is shoveling it on. Grandma Jean

  4. Kathi Wotal4/14/10, 4:00 PM

    I am so proud of you for doing this. For using your gift for writing to work out all your pain and questions and philosophies on life...and to row as a man and a spiritual person. I love you. Mom

    PS Your Grandma Jean is soooo right. Rise above the crap, no matter who is shoveling it.

  5. Very articulate! It's a great way to sort out your own thoughts and feelings, isn't it?

    I'm still living w/ the consequences of the extreme abuse Russ endured all through his childhood (physical, mental, emotional....). He is forever emotionally damaged. I love him for the great person he is, but I and our children will always live w/ what he is unable to express. Sometimes I just want to dig up both his parents and kick the crap out of them, for what they did to him!!!

  6. I have known you for many years. I have watched you grow from a small child in washington to the man that you are now. I know that you have had a hard life, but the best timber on the mountian grows on the windward side of the mountian so it is with people which does not kill us makes us stronger and have greater capacity for love and mercy. I am sure that you will find those to be the best part of you, even the greatest how ever lived did the greatest suffering to learn how to best give his people succor. remember that life is about love and the journey to be that person who you have a vision of inside of you that you want to become like plato said you will find the Jamesness that exists in side. god speed my dear you padiawn learner