|Manatee with a calf underneath her belly|
When I was married, I had been snorkeling in Hawaii moons ago and looked forward to doing it again. We had gone to Hanama Bay and were told to bring peas with us. When we drove up there were signs posted everywhere DO NOT FEED THE FISH. So being the renegade that I was I put a few handful of peas in my husbands pocket. My swimsuit was a floral design so as soon as we got in the fish kept coming up to me and pecking at my suit thinking it was a flower they were trying to eat. My husband jumped out of the water and screamed. I said, "Why are you screaming?" He said, "The fish are swimming into my pockets!" They were very friendly and obviously were used to other people bringing peas before us. So after convincing him to give me the peas, we headed back in to the water and did exactly what the sign told us NOT to do.
So many times we make one decision that can have consequences of a lifetime but we always think, I won't get caught, I'm too smart. Or we may think that wouldn't happen to me. A good example of this is when we get speeding tickets. (A word of advice from an old referee Maryland State Trooper...just drive maximum seven miles over the speed limit because the tickets don't have any categories below seven miles.) So in my infinite wisdom I took the peas because "friends" had told me too.
Reminds me of the saying my mother would say to my responses, but ALL MY FRIENDS DO IT. She would ask, "So if your friends decided to jump off a bridge to their death, would you do that too?" Which I triumphantly replied, "Of course not!" So over the years I've learned not to do something because my friends have suggested. Doing the right thing to me is thinking about all the consequences and doing the best I can to follow the law. Looking back at the Hanama Bay moment, this probably was not very smart, what was I thinking. What if I had gotten arrested in Hawaii, missed my return plane back to the mainland? Just stupid.
|There were 300 manatees at Blue Springs this day!|
Some people make tough decisions looking at the WWJD bracelets that they wear: What Would Jesus Do? Some people make a pros and cons list, whichever side has more tallies helps them make the decision. A few years back I had a class that taught us to make decisions using the Quadrant process.
You draw a big plus sign and take two variables that affect your decision. As a simplified version I'll use the two variables in the swimming with the manatee question, weather and participating. The weather diametric is cold/warm and the swimming diametric is to-go/not-to-go. You place these variables on each end of the corresponding axis, look at the associated quadrants and name each of them. Weather is warm and going to swim I would label: Heaven. Weather is warm and not going I would label: Regrettable. Weather cold and going to swim: Miserable Hell! Weather cold and not going to swim: Safe and Warm. The weather was Cold so the warm quandrants are immediately eliminated. The decision was between the two quandrants that were left: Miserable Hell or Safe and Warm. Safe and warm was clearly the right decision for me at the right time. I would not go and I would lose $30. It was the best money I ever spent to learn the lesson of empowerment that comes from saying No which I rarely ever say. Money was not worth freezing my tooty off.
Sometimes we can catapult ourselves into a different world by one decision, taking someone up on an offer we don't feel worthy of, going to an event that we meet someone who can be a future connection, going to school and learning a new trade, asking a person out for a cup of coffee, or sharing our time with a child. Some decisions take a lot of thought, others are no-brainers. Whatever you decide is right for you, just know you made the best decision for you at the time with all the variables given to you at the moment. If anyone asks us later why we do what we do, then we have the data analysis behind it to help them understand. The answer, "Because" will never be good enough.