There are consequences to everything. That might sound like an obvious oversimplification, but it is amazing how many people live as if this was not the case. There are people who live as if they believe they can do whatever they wish, whenever they wish without ever having to face the results of those actions. It is ironic that the more freedom of choice and the more opportunities we have, the more difficulty we seem to have in seeing the direct relationship between our actions and their consequences.
History is the continuing story of actions and their consequences. We view the rise and fall of previous civilizations from the lofty perspective of hindsight, from which it is possible to draw conclusions about why certain actions led to certain outcomes, or consequences. The hope is that we learn enough from the examples and lessons of history to make choices in the future that result in better consequences.
The past several generations have seen many actions and their consequences shape the way we live our lives. I’d like to mention a few of them. The ability to raise more food and to keep that food longer was intended to provide more people the opportunity to have whatever foods they wanted almost whenever they wanted it. There have been some wonderful consequences to these actions. Unfortunately, there have also been some consequences with negative effects on health that have resulted from some of these actions.
Trying to eat healthy seems to have become a difficult, if not impossible, task given the complexities of our food production and distribution system. We may enjoy both the varieties and abundance of a wide selection of food. Have we become wise in evaluating our actions regarding food? Thus ensuring that the consequences of our choices and actions regarding food really make us better off.
Over the past several generations we have experienced freedom in areas such as mobility, education and employment that have given us opportunities previously only available to a very few. While the consequences for some have been growth, satisfaction and happiness, others report frustration and loneliness as consequences of the same opportunities.
One more area to examine would be technology. We live in an amazing world with electronic devices more powerful than room-sized computers of fifty years ago. We can talk effortlessly with someone around the world. Is it really a desirable consequence for four or five people in a restaurant to each be isolated from one another on their own electronic device?
As we move forward, I don’t want any of us to regret or fear the actions and opportunities that have transformed this into the most exciting time anyone has ever known. I think the answer lies in recognizing that there are consequences to everything. I am unsettled by people I hear telling us we can have whatever we want with no consequences to us. I believe we must each develop a healthy understanding of our actions and their probable consequences.
We cannot abdicate either our actions or their consequences and remain satisfied, happy, fulfilled. When things at times seem overwhelming, we need to break things down into simple actions and their consequences. We cannot control every action that affects us, but we can control some of them. If we work with others who are like-minded, we can initiate a lot of actions that will have consequences we will be happy living with. I am convinced this is the best way to live as we move forward.If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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