I'm sure I slaughtered the quote, but Voltaire said something along those lines. I first read it in high school and I really loved it. I had never thought about the lasting consequences our choices carry with them, and that quote just spoke plain truth to me.
It's something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately. Choices. Agency. Decisions. I don't think we realize often enough that something that takes a split second to decide can have such huge repercussions. Now, just to clarify, I'm not talking about little choices like what you are going to eat for dinner or which jeans you are going to wear today. Of course, they could end up being huge decisions if you get food poisoning, your pants split at work or your future husband asks you out for the first time because he loved your outfit.
No, I'm talking about bigger choices than that. The kind that can lead to happily ever after, or that can ruin lives and tear apart families.
My question is this: Why do people even make these horrible choices? From the outside looking in, I am often amazed at the things people do (especially those who definitely know better). But, I am not exempt from making bad decisions. I've done it many times. However, because I've seen what choosing certain things will result in by watching people around me, there are a few decisions that I feel confident I will never make. At least, if I were faced with them right this second, I wouldn't. But in a weak moment? Who really knows what I would do.
So, the question then becomes, how does one stay strong? I have some ideas about that, and I won't share all of them here, but I guess the biggest thing is to decide before you have to decide. Like they tell kids with drugs. Decide now that you will "just say NO" if you are ever in the position where someone is offering the option. If you truly mean the decision you make before hand it should be easy--well, easier--to stick to your guns.
Anyway, I want to be better about this. Especially as a mother. There are so many choices I can make each day that will affect my children for either good or bad. They may not seem huge, but many of them are.
And I want to do the things that will have wonderful lasting effects on my girls.