Have you ever watched someone do something really stupid or really bad on television or in the theatre and thought to yourself or said to a friend ‘that was really stupid, or I would never do that!’
Have you ever seen or heard about a co-worker, friend, or family member doing something similar and had a similar response?
Do you ever wonder how someone could ever get themselves ‘in that situation?’ Then say or think to yourself, it would never happen to me.
Sometimes people find themselves in absolutely horrible situations for absolutely no fault of their own; but sometimes, even often, it is an incremental step by step process. It’s not usually the major decisions or mistakes that get us into a lot of trouble; but the little day by day even hour by hour decisions we make. It’s the small decisions that provide practice and direction for the big ones. It’s the decisions we make before the big ones have to be made that to a great extent, determine our destiny.
It is the small day to day decisions that determine, for the most part, who your associates will be, what kind of environments you will be in, what kind of opportunities you will have, and if you will be able to make the most of the opportunities which occur. It is the same for your children. When we come to understand this, and make the best small decisions possible, the really tough decisions become easier and we find ourselves in fewer situations beyond our control.
Remember, oftentimes, the little, sometimes just a little rebellious or just a little naughty, decisions we make now to demonstrate how free we are, diminish our freedoms and choices in the future.
On the other hand, decisions to: study hard, take responsibility, learn and follow the rules, act with dignity and respect and treat everyone the same way, even when no one else notices, usually creates more opportunities and greater freedom in the future.
For example, NASA astronauts have had very strict guidelines for learning, health, and behavior. They have had to do things which some might consider confining and restrictive, and yet many have had the freedom to do things, literally out of this world.
Sometimes parents rescue their children from the consequences of their little mistakes. I'm not suggesting overly harsh punishments for slight infractions; but the simple lessons which come from the natural consequences of little mistakes. For example: a five year old spills their milk, there's no need to make a big deal cry or yell about it, just simply had them a wash cloth and lovingly ask them to clean it up. Give them instructions if necessary and be patient to make sure they get it done. These simple lessons, even though they may take you a little longer than it would take for you to clean it up yourself, means everything in the long run and will probably save you and your child a enormous amount of time and heartache in the future.
EVERYONE, except perhaps the most severely intellectually disabled, have opportunities to make little decisions and it’s the little decisions that make all the difference.
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