Monday, June 04, 2007

Truth and Consequences

We make hundreds of decisions every day; each one builds upon the last, creating the moments that make up our lives. Every choice has a consequence and for the most part, the cause and effect of those choices are clear. We hit snooze to get extra sleep knowing the consequence could be lateness. We eat fatty foods although we are aware of the weight and health related consequences. We order an extra drink at happy hour recognizing it will make us late for dinner. Choices bear results, and we strive every day to make decisions that have positive results.

Sometimes, choices yield results we are unaware of. Today, I chose to hit the snooze button, then I choose a wrong turn, and later I chose to get coffee. On the surface, these choices seem quite ordinary and are ones forgotten by the end of the day, unless something happens because of those choices. What happened today was 90 minutes of standstill traffic on I-95. I cursed my need for a few extra minutes of sleep, berated myself for a caffeine addiction and believed wholly that these decisions put me behind whatever mess was occurring ahead, making me very late to work. Road rage consumed me and I was unable to do anything about it as cars all around idled.

Suddenly, we had movement and one by one vehicles passed a somber scene; a multi-car accident involving an 18-wheeler that ended up on top of a small car. Suddenly, ordinary decisions seemed quite extraordinary; we were passing the accident rather then being in it. Missing a meeting, burning a few bucks in gas and listening to bad morning radio was no big deal; the 9 minute snooze, the wrong turn and the venti latte saved my life.

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