No Consequences

We live in a world where consequences are erased whenever possible.  When we are too sick to go to work for a week, we get sick pay.  Our families dont starve, our houses dont get repossessed, no consequences.  When I crashed my car, sure it was inconvenient and scary, but there were no serious consequences.  Cars are designed to protect us, insurance covers our mistakes, no consequences.  If someone fails an exam at school, they take a resit.  They arent forced into a prospectless future, they get another shot at it.  If you get married, you promise away the rest of your life, but yet you know there is a getout clause.  You arent cast out of society forever, you arent forced to remain in the relationship, you just get divorced.

We are indoctrinated with the "second chance", the "get-out clause", the "get out of jail free card".  Sure there are consequences, but there is still that safety net.  The only people who fall when there is no safety net are those distant people on the news.  Its always someone else, not you, not me.

So what does it matter that we live in a culture which minimises consequences!  We get unlimited free healthcare, we are supported when we are sick or old or unemployed.  We can insure ourselves and our possessions against any eventuality.  And that IS amazing.  It really is.  There arent many of us who would willingly give that safety net up.

And yet there is still value in remembering that there are consequences.  Underneath that safety net, there is the hard ground.  And most of the world dont have the luxury of the sick day or the car insurance or the exam resit or the divorce.   When they fall, they hit the ground hard.  To truly empathise with others, I believe we must first be fully grateful for the contents of our own lives.

And sometimes those consequences are ours.  Sometimes they come out of the TV, out of the lives of others, and into our own lives.  In some relationships, there are no second chances.  In some illnesses, there is no cure.  Awareness of the potential for consequence does not come naturally to us, after all, we have learnt that there arent really any.  I am working on gaining that awareness.  I learnt the hard way that if you remain oblivious to consequence, you can hit the ground before you even knew you were falling.  

Gaining the ability to consider the possibility of a world which is not wrapped in a giant safety blanket would mean everything to me.  Knowing that I have considered the consequences of my actions would at the very least give me peace of mind.  I firmly believe that it would go beyond this though, it would protect my relationships,  channel my future towards productivity and happiness, one day it could even save my life.


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