How do we handle Consequences?  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

Norman Cousins said, "A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fashions his goods or his dwelling. Nothing he says, thinks or does is without consequences." Let's look at how consequences are frequently managed, be they intended or unintended.

Consequences and forgiveness. Take a situation where one person harms another, either by accident or deliberately, and the victim decides to forgive the perpetrator. Does that change the consequences for either one? Can the victim pretend that nothing has happened and go about life as it was before? If forgiven, should the perpetrator escape the consequences that would otherwise follow?

Consequences and freedom of choice. If one elects to exercise freedom of choice, thereby harming himself, should there be any consequences? If one has freely chosen to act in a way that harms another, should the consequences be more severe than if the act had been committed by accident or involuntarily?

Consequences and making decisions. Think of an instance where someone attempts to shift consequences away from himself by blaming others. "It's not my fault that the check to the electric company bounced. You didn't record the debit card payments you made the last time you went shopping."

Consequences and responsibility. How do we attempt to escape responsibility for the consequences of our actions? Ignore them? Blame others? Make amends? Accept the consequences, learn from the experience and move on?

Consequences and freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is such a valuable right that there seems to be few consequences for those who abuse the privilege. Whether in private conversation or in the mass media, appealing to emotions and outright lying many times accomplishes the speaker's objective without penalty. How can those who subvert the noble purpose of freedom of speech be held accountable?

This entry was posted on September 3, 2011 at Saturday, September 03, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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