Think Before You Act

Alex - The Woodlands, Texas
Entered on December 9, 2008

Last year I was riding home in the car and we were turning into our neighborhood. I was looking down the road and a pickup truck rear-ended a small car about 50 feet ahead of us. They both pulled to the side of the road as we stopped to wait for the cars to clear before we could continue. But then the man got out of the pickup and walked over to the car he hit without looking at the possible damage to his own car. He slammed his fist violently on the driver’s window. A chill went through my body as the man started screaming at this person inside the car as he was banging and kicking the car. After several punches and yells he walked back to his truck and sped off really fast. I can’t imagine the fear and terror the person in the car felt. Getting rear-ended is scary enough and to watch a guy almost break your window while threatening you would haunt me for ages. I didn’t see this person in the car but I know now it could have been anyone. It could have been a 20 yr old girl, an old lady, or a middle-aged man.

I believe in the saying “think about what you are going to do before you do or say it.” I believe that it can improve our relationships with friends and family and help our souls. Like the man who yelled at the person in the car, people often do not realize the consequences of their actions until after the act because they decide to go on instinct instead of what the logical act is. I know in my life that it would help me become a better person because I often don’t think before I do things and I sometimes regret it. If the man in the pickup would have pulled over after he hit the person in front of him and sat there thinking about the situation while getting out to look at the front of his car, he could have made a rational decision, like waiting for the other person to exit the car and talking to them calmly about what happened. If he thought about it, he would at first feel the anger he did to cause him to get out and punch the car in the first place, but then realize the person in the car or an observer could simply take down their license plate number, like a lot of people do when they get in these situations, and he could get in trouble with the police. He also might realize that the person in the other car could also become violent and someone could get hurt. And the last realization that may have come to mind was that he could cause great fear and terror to the person in the other car as he screamed and punched the car. This would cause him the pain of regretting what he did and cause the pain that the person in the car feels today. You can see how much better one situation can be just by thinking through and making better decisions.

Everyday people make decisions they regret, and if we took just those few minutes to think through what the consequences of those decisions are, we would all be better off. This is what I believe.