In the past two weeks the words “choices” and “coincidences” have become part of my every day vocabulary and also part of my every day thinking. Although those two words existed before they rose to significance after January 6th 2014 and they will continue to play a significant role in my life until I draw my last breath. It is very rare that I take advice from people and it is even most rare that I actually accept the advice given and apply them to my everyday life, however, because I had a great deal of respect for this person because he was always honest and always wanted what was best for me, I actually listened to him even though he was just a teen-aged boy. He believed in choices, consequences and creation and did not accept excuses.
“You made that choice”, those words will continue to ring in my head as a constant reminder. I heard them everyday in every argument and there was no backing down from the argument. Those words were used in arguments against poverty, homelessness, single motherhood and many other social ills of our communities. No amount of stories of different circumstances would change the mind of the author of those words, he believed that we all made choices, whether they were good or bad, they were choices that we made and that we should learn to live with the consequences of our choices.
Consequences are often results of the choices that was made either by us or by others but we had to experience them. I was told by this teen that choices I made would have consequences not only for me but also for my children,, family, community and country. We were all responsible for making the right choices. My choice to have unprotected sex with a man who was not responsible may lead to me being a single mother, I made that choice and that choice will not only affect me but also; my child, the father of my child, my family, my community and even a tax payer who does not even know who I am. Even though we make choices and often find ourselves suffering the consequences it is up to us not to create excuses but instead create ways to stop the cycle.
I decided to write this post tonight because of the many times I heard that I made choices and should endure my consequences but that I also had a choice to choose to become better. I remember the specific conversation that prompted this post because I am now benefiting from a choice that I made based off that conversation. I was not allowed to make excuses or feel sorry for myself. I was reminded very harshly that I made choices and that my choices had consequences. As I read through an online class that I am currently participating in, it all came back to me. That conversation, though harsh, though my feelings were hurt, and though I felt that the nineteen year old kid was inexperienced about life and that he was naïve to a lot of things, it pushed me enough that I decided to do something about my situation. I decided to take his advice and instead of creating excuses I created opportunities to change my situation. Months later after having that conversation the results of that conversation came back to me and now I appreciate the fact that I did listen. I appreciate the fact that even though his words were harsh, they were true enough to get me to do something about my situation. I will forever be grateful for those hard words for they have changed my life in more ways than one.
I hope that others take note from this and realize that choices lead to consequences and that though we often find ourselves in difficult situations that we have the choice to make better choices, not only for ourselves but for those around us.