People who don’t know me well often think I am reckless, those who know me better think I’m courageous and those who really know me; have long resigned themselves to the fact that I will always do precisely what I want to do.
And sometimes the precise thing that I want to do also happens to be the wrong thing to do so my close friends usually express their disapproval, give me warnings and then dutifully step aside because when all is said and done – Delta is going to do what Delta wants to do.
My life is almost always entirely my own fault, whatever goes right and whatever goes wrong can be traced back to a decision I made or neglected to make.
But I am neither courageous nor particularly reckless; I am just someone who lives life by making a risk assessment that I have dubbed ‘the worst case scenario’.
I think I started to live that way after I lost my parents and realized that I would have to largely depend on myself to figure out what to do in times of crisis, confusion or uncertainty.
The end result has been a life lived full of errors, trailed by the nasty consequences of bad choices for which no one can take the blame except myself and invaluable lessons for which no one can take credit except myself.
In any event, I taught myself to never do anything whose price I am unprepared or unwilling or incapable of paying.
If I am going to do something I know is wrong, I ask myself ‘what is the worst possible outcome of this decision’, I ask myself ‘what is the worst thing that can happen if I decide to do this very wrong thing that I so badly want to do’.
If I figure out what the very worst thing that can happen is, then I ask myself, ‘if this worst thing possible happened, would I be able to live with it?’
If my answer is yes, then I will go ahead and do the thing that I know is wrong that I so badly want to do.
If I know that I cannot afford to pay the price for an action because the ‘worst case scenario’ is something I am unable to absorb; then I just quit and let the thing pass.
In other words, I live my life by pushing the moral envelope; by taking every choice to its extremities and avoiding the murky shades of grey.
I must be as aware of the wrong choices that I make as I am of the right ones and as accountable for the bad decisions I take as I am for the good ones.
If you’re unprepared to face the consequences of a given course of action – then don’t pursue it.
Someone once noted that the right thing to do and the hard thing to do are often one and the same.
Congratulations on whatever good choices you’ve made in your life and big up to you for the right decisions you’ve opted for along the way… but for the wrong choices and for the bad decisions; I hope you take full responsibility – there are far too many people who simply refuse to acknowledge their mess.
Don’t be one of them. You don’t own your life until you ‘own’ your mistakes.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts”.