Posted by: draknor | July 27, 2011

Consequences

Typically Wednesday posts will be about health & fitness, but I’m postponing that until tomorrow. There’s something else more important to write about today — consequences.

Its hard to know what the consequences of our actions will be — and often, we tell ourselves that if we knew “this” would happen, we would have done something differently.  Sometimes, there are consequences so unpredictable that this is true — a reasonable mind could not have foreseen the future.

But often, the consequences are NOT a surprise, nor are they unreasonable.  We simply don’t think to see the destination of the path we are on, or we simply don’t want to believe it.  There is far less mystery in life than people want to believe. 

Think about it…

  • If you eat thousands of calories a day of processed, sweetened, nutritionally-deficient foods — you are going to have health problems.  You will probably become obese, diabetic, and/or have heart disease.  You will probably die much earlier in life than you could have.  You will leave your spouse, your children, possibly grandchildren, and your friends weeping in your absence.
  • If you smoke a pack a day for years — you are going to have health problems.  You will spend thousands of dollars hurting your lungs, stressing your body, and you, too, will inevitably die early in life.  You will leave behind all those you love who will miss you, despite your self-destructive habit.
  • If you drive fast & aggressively, eventually you will get into an accident.  Sure, it may not be “your fault”, but that won’t matter.  You may end up injured, crippled, or even dead. Or, perhaps worse, you might cripple or kill another driver, or even one of your passengers.  Is it worth risking your spouse’s or your child’s life to get there just a few minutes faster?
  • If you are stressed out every day — by work, by family, by money — you are going to have health problems, relationship problems, and psychological problems.  Your body wasn’t designed to be under constant stress.  And it probably wasn’t designed to handle whatever you are using as your coping mechanism, whether that’s emotional eating, drinking, smoking, or whatever you do just to “unwind”.  So you are going to die an early death, have strained relationships with the ones you love & care about, and you probably won’t get a chance to resolve those & say you are sorry before you are gone.

Identify with any of those?  They aren’t rocket science, are they?  You don’t need a PhD to see likely consequences.  Sure, there’s always exceptions — but guess what? Odds are, you are NOT the exception.  Are you willing to take that chance?

This may seem like a harsh post, but I lost a friend last weekend in a drunk driving accident.  His wife is devastated — they are young, only married for 2 years.  Not only is their future together now shattered, but now she & her family have the added stress & financial hardship of returning his body to his native land, for his family to grieve and give him a proper burial.  Do you think he thought about that potential consequence when he got in the car?  Do you think the driver ever thought that might happen?  Or any of the other cars involved in the accident — were those drivers & passengers expecting to brush death that fateful night?

Here’s an interesting factoid: according to 2009 CDC data, the leading cause of death in people aged 1-24 and 25-44 are accidents (unintentional injuries).

Our choices are important because they not only affect our lives, but also the lives of those closest to us, as well as random strangers whom we may never know.  Change isn’t easy, but its got to start somewhere.

Start here — make a commitment to yourself and to your loved ones to change just one thing; to have one less regret when you are lying on your death bed about what you wish you would have done.

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