Today I was at my neighborhood coffee shop to focus on doing some writing. There was a little guy, about two wandering around, the owner’s son. He is cute and very curious, just what you expect from a two year old. His mom came over to grab him and make sure he was not bothering me and we started talking about her pregnancy, she is having twins, a boy and a girl, how beautiful! While the joy of this is still fresh for me I walk up to the counter to order an afternoon hot cocoa when I notice the owner and mother to be, outside smoking. Now some days I am emotional and even irrational, but are you freakin’ kidding me? Okay, now I do not have children, nor have I ever been pregnant, but I am sure that I heard somewhere that smoking is bad and especially bad if you are pregnant, I could be wrong, but that is what I heard.

I mention this story to bring up consequences. There are consequences for every action. I tell people this and they look at me either like I have made the most obvious statement ever or they look at me like they do not believe me. I will typically elaborate and say that consequences do not have to be a bad thing; it is not necessarily a bad word. Consequences are the outcome of our decisions, good and bad. This concept helps me when I am thinking through something and making a decision. I ask myself, how will this affect those around me? What are the consequences of my actions? These questions have served me well and have helped keep what is really important to me a priority. Those who are willing to make changes in their lives look at how their actions will ripple and those who are not willing to shift or change do a cannonball without regard.

We make decisions everyday that are worth the risk of the consequences. What about the risks that we take that are not worth the risk, like talking on our cell phones in the car, the consequence being a possible accident or smoking while pregnant, have the consequences been evaluated in that situation? What happens when we step outside ourselves and see how our actions affect those around us? How does thinking about the consequences begin a shift?