This I Believe

Andi - Pendleton, South Carolina
Entered on September 14, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

Cause and Effect

It seems to me that the single greatest common denominator to every conflict, misunderstanding, or problem in the world can be wrapped up in one sentence:

We don’t see that there are consequences for what we do, say or think.

When I was young I didn’t think beyond the moment. I would lie to my parents to save myself from immediate punishment – though down the road – I would unquestionably suffer much greater wrath.

I look around me now and I see this kind of mentality everywhere.

We’re critical of employers who seek overseas labor. If you were in business, trying to make a profit, and you could get it done for $5 or $10 less an hour – what decision would you make?

You’re from another country, living in America, and you make no attempt to learn English, or you dress in foreign garb in public – and you resent that many people are not so comfortable around you.

You’re a supervisor and you don’t treat your staff with respect; you’re surprised when they don’t perform as well as other employees.

As a country or a region, you claim that peace is what you want. Then a faction within your country or region blows themselves and a number of other people to bits – in the name of religious freedom. You’re surprised that your credibility is now being questioned.

You’re a public figure and you get caught committing a criminal act – or just saying something you shouldn’t – then you deny what you did. Your ratings immediately go down in the poles; how’d that happen?

And possibly worst of all – You’re a parent and you allow your children to see you lie, cheat, steal, do drugs, commit adultery – pick any one or all of the above – and then expect them to grow up to be outstanding citizens.

I must confess I’m guilty of this lack of ‘connecting the dots’ myself – we like to say it’s human nature. But I think that’s a copout. I believe that seeing this phenomena for what it is (if only we could) would be more enlightening than anything else I can imagine.