Consequence- the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier: His obesity was the consequence of overeating. (Pictured is Me> a 350 pound health crisis in May 2008!)
As previously blogged, my parents had many expectations for my brothers and me with the overall expectation that we would be good people. Being a good person means developing good behavior. My parents would talk to us about how we should 'behave' and expected us to 'behave' accordingly. We were also introduced to 'consequences' for poor behavior at an early age. We were always given positive reinforcement, but came to understand there were consequences to poor behavior. At early ages we might have been spanked or shown the 'Navy belt'. Then we were introduced to a severe talking to, restrictions and added chores. Out of all these, the severe talking to always seemed to be the worst. I wanted to behave well, but that was not always the case. Even the best Catholic Altar boy steps 'out of bounds' once in awhile.
Then as life progressed I came to understand other consequences to poor behavior. If you pay a bill late, you get a late fee. If you make a mistake at work, you get a written warning or some discipline. If you speed you lose points on your license and pay a fine. There are always consequences to poor personal behavior. I think many people today do not take responsibility for their actions and the consequences that come with them. It is always someone else's fault or some past occurrence caused their present 'poor behavior'.
My own obesity is a case in point. I developed very poor eating and health habits over 32 years of adulthood. I blamed this behavior (external stress, a need to focus on other issues, etc.) on many things while all the time knowing I controlled my behavior. The consequences that came with this behavior became staggering over the years. Where was my 'severe talking to'? I did not see any immediate consequences to this behavior when it started but at the end of the 32nd year the consequences were right in front of me in a staggering pile.
The consequences included major health issues while taking 7 different medicines to keep them in check. Not being able to fit into chairs, seats, clothes, my own skin, and sometimes society. It created barriers to relationships, especially with my wonderful wife. When I look back the list can be overwhelming. Somehow I had let the consequences build up over the years. I had not gotten 'my severe talking to'. I had developed and ability to ignore them. As a child I learned to deal with the consequences of poor behavior and move on. The consequences were immediate and understood. As an adult, I had developed a mechanism to focus on certain things and ignore poor consequences in other areas. I even allowed them to build up to unmanageable piles.
I now understand my consequences to poor behavior in a much better way. Poor behavior I exhibit dramatically impacts me and often the people I love. My struggles with obesity and the consequences of my behavior that lead to my obesity, have caused me to assess all areas of my life and how I treat ME and others. As I wake up each morning, I not only look at the behavior I used toward my own fitness and health goals the day before, I look at my overall behavior toward Me and others. I will not let my stack of consequences develop over time in any area of my life. There is a definite danger in allowing them to build up.
Note to ME and YOU: I will give ME a 'severe talking to' daily, if needed! No consequence piles allowed!
Loving Life and Trying to Behave,
Note: I will do a resolution checkup blog in two days with a follow up blog called "Teacher or Student?"