Joe Pettit wrote how playing poker “helped to school me in the realities of life.” I was struck by his story and his ability to open our eyes to learn lessons from sources we may not have considered. Because in everything we do, there are lessons. Some lessons are received and appreciated while others are devastating, and the negative aspects are far reaching. By making choices based on those lessons, there are consequences.
While riding my bicycle on a two lane road with moderately wide shoulders, I see a car approaching. I check my mirror and see a care coming from behind too. I do a little figuring and conclude we will all arrive at the same spot at the exact same time. As we approach each other, it strikes me that the choices we made have placed us at this exact same spot and what happens will be the consequence of those choices. The odds that this will happen are astronomical, bordering on impossible, but it happens so many times during any ride: it’s unreal. However, unlike Joe’s story where you have a winner, money changes hands, and you deal the next hand, when 2 cars and a bike arrive at the spot simultaneously, the choices we make could have tragic consequences.
There was a young mother pushing a stroller with her baby girl along the shoulder of the road. She was headed to the 7-11 for bread and milk. A mother with her three children was headed to daycare, and there was a delivery truck heading towards his next stop. They were all headed to their destinations with no consideration of the situation that was in front of them. All seem to be operating on auto pilot. Just as they all arrive at the same location, like they have done routinely, something unexpected happens: a dog jumps out at the young mother. She instinctively reacts, which makes the mother headed to daycare react, which makes the delivery truck react, which can change the course of all their lives!
Choices or the lack thereof can have a multitude of consequences. While going through life, we need to turn off autopilot and stay engaged. We need to make sure we are aware and tuned into what is happen around us so that we can make good choices that lead to great consequences.