Choice comes with consequence.
As a parent, I find myself sharing this thought frequently with my children in teaching moments. Not to be confused, this lesson can be used during hardship as well as victory.
Before expanding I’d like to recognize the height of the climate we are in as a country, I wish to be clear on my words. In the day and age of instant everything via words and ‘wisdom,’ I’m learning more and more that words and intent can often be misunderstood.
With that said, this column is not intended to be in any way, shape or form about politics. Please read that again … this column is not about politics.
Now just one month into a new year, I found myself reflecting late last week on the type of start 2017 got off on for me personally. In short, I took a bit of a personal inventory. Odd? Perhaps. Necessary? I believe so.
I challenge my children to be and give the best they can of themselves, to those who love them and this world. So it would only seem fitting as the ‘grown-up’ of our household, I hold myself equally accountable.
On the final day of January I came across a Meme which struck me funny: “I’ve decided that my 2017 is going to start February 1st… This was a free trial month.”
For a number of reasons, none of which had to do with resolutions or weight loss goals, that hit me hard.
Much of my first month of 2017 seemed to be spent reflecting on the year I had left behind. It’s no secret, most of us are our own worse critic and I spent many an early morning and evening in January reflecting on how I could have handled situations ‘better.’
After all, with each choice we make we must accept consequence. On a good day it can be simple, we shoot a random text or make a call to a friend (choice) and they reply in such a way that confirms this was a good thing (consequence).
The third piece to this equation, the one I seem to be good at reminding my children of and yet fall short on myself is – acceptance.
What I came to recognize as I reflected is, just as choice creates consequence we must embrace acceptance in order to move forward.
That still hits me hard. I’m a fixer. If my actions cause a negative consequence, I do my best to ‘repair’ it. However what I’ve come to learn and recognize is whether on the giving or accepting end repair is not always possible. Regardless of how a situation plays out, you must embrace acceptance in order to move forward.
Children, just like dogs, are aces at this concept. You forget to wash their favorite T-shirt for a school event, they’re bummed, perhaps upset in that moment and they move on. You accidentally leave the dog out in the rain and as soon as you let them in, their tail wags and they move to the next moment.
As adults, we tend to hold on, let things fester or the worst thing, avoid the consequence.
One of the most liberating things which not just happened, but I learned to do in the final days (literally) of 2016 was to release anger. Yes, even those of us who may find a way to face the day with a bright side mentality, have items in our closet which hold anger. Releasing that is powerful stuff.
So as we live the next 11 months in our 2017 year, this Year of the Rooster on the Chinese calendar, let us not hold onto anger and accept that indeed our choices come with consequence and through those lessons we can both impact change and grow.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.