Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2004

From the Principal

Cause and effect a balanced equation

January 22, 2004

Cause and effect is a complicated lesson to learn and understand. There are those folks who never seem to understand this concept, and as a result, they often suffer the consequences.
One of the most difficult lessons in life is that there our actions have consequences. At school, we constantly stress this to our young people. Unfortunately, it is the adults that have trouble realizing this. I found a story that drives this point home. This is just one story, which can be applied to any situation.
A woman chooses to get to the airport only 30 minutes before her flight departs. She's aware of the airline security requirements but feels her time is too precious to waste standing around in lines.
On her way to the gate, she bumps into people who are in much less of a hurry and steps on the toe of a woman who just recovered from foot surgery. At the gate is a young man hoping to fly home on standby. His father is ill and he is relieved to learn that there appears to be an available seat on this flight. But when the woman finally arrives to claim her seat, the young man is told he will have to wait for the next flight, hours later.
This new frustration and the long wait will drive him to start smoking again. Once the woman boards the plane, the flight attendants try to accommodate her carry-on luggage. But all the overhead bins are full, and the small suitcase will need to be checked after all. The flight is now past its departure time, which irritates many of the passengers and costs the airline a fine. Amid the discord of her fellow travelers, the woman finally settles into her seat, never to realize the ripple effect she launched with her untimely choices.
This story may not directly have much meaning to us in context, and could possibly be each and every one of us at one point and time in our lives. It could be as simple as waking up late in the morning, arguing with the kids who are moving slow and maybe saying some things you shouldn't have, so when you leave the house for work you are upset and the kids are upset, ultimately affecting the day.
You drive down K-10 to work with your mind preoccupied with the bad start. You might cut somebody off in traffic, affecting the way they are driving while your kids are going to school equally angry.
You eventually get to work, still in a bad mood. Nothing at work goes right, while your kids are at school in the wrong frame of mind and having a bad day as well.
This example could go on and on. You should get the point by now.
The bottom line: All of this could have been avoided by setting the alarm clock and getting up on time. The irony of the whole ordeal is that we do things and many times don't realize what we are doing or the effect it will have on others.
Cause and effect and consequences are simple yet complex. Everything we do, whether it is positive or negative, affects other people. As adults, hopefully we are able to prevent these types of problems.
Now that I have identified different scenarios, what can be done to ensure this doesn't happen in a negative sense?
The first and foremost is to be extremely careful what you do and what you say. The common phrase of "think before you act" plays an important role. As a parent, this can be extremely difficult, because kids will go to the extreme while trying your patience. Keep in mind that a decision made in a split second could affect your life or someone else's life. Remember, this all begins at the home.
Another way to avoid negative causes and effects is to plan well ahead. I know from experience and a busy schedule that I find myself rushing places. When I am rushed I find myself getting irritated with stoplights that never turn green or slow drivers who in actuality are driving the speed limit.
Perhaps the most important advice is to slow down and enjoy life totally. Try not to stress the little things. I know this is difficult when you are trying to juggle work and family schedules.
The end result will not only make your life enjoyable, but it could also affect those around you.

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