Consequences is such a negative word. Your parents parrot it at you as a warning or as a punishment. “There are consequences for your actions, young lady!” To the twenty-first century kid, the word consequences means “you’re in trouble.” Nobody wants to hear about consequences!
I’m here to tell you that consequences not only get a bad rap, but are a good thing.
“What? That’s crazy talk!”
Here’s a little secret about consequences: they are what makes your life a life. The literal definition of a consequence is “a result or effect of an action or condition.” This makes consequences an if-then statement! And if we didn’t have consequences, well, then, nothing would ever happen. There’d be no then for the if and we would lead completely pointless lives of nothingness.
An if-then statement: if I skip school, then I will be punished. That sounds more like a consequence, doesn’t it? Well, here’s another consequence if-then statement: if I do my work and make good grades, then I will be on the honor roll. Wait a second…the honor roll is a consequence? Well, consequentially, yes, it is!
Consequence is a synonym for “result”, “effect”, and “outcome”. When somebody warns you about the consequences of your actions, they’re just letting you know what the outcome is going to be. Just like an if-then statement.
Some people seem to want to live a life without consequences. They want to do what they want, when they want, how they want. Nobody tellin’ them right and wrong! No punishment.
They miss the very foundation of outcome, of result, of consequence. They can’t live a life without consequences, because such a life cannot exist! They cannot simply do as they wish without there being a result! They cannot eliminate the punishment for the bad without removing the reward for the good!
An if-then statement has to have a then. Going through life, playing a game of “if-only” is quite a risk: you miss the consequences of your daily actions if you only focus on what could be, if only you’d done something else.
At the end of the day, you’ve got a lot to thank consequences for. They’ve cast the results of every decision you’ve made, good or bad. If you want to kick consequences to the curb, remember, you can’t take away the negative connotations without banishing the wonderful, positive things.
Plus, math is useful. Who knew!